Seed World

The Pacific Seed Association Together Again After Two Years

The Pacific Seed Association's group picture after their luncheon. From left to right: Chris Zanobini, PSA; Carolyn Lockwood, PSA President, David Lockwood, Rob Duerst, Mindy Duerst, Ioka Marketing; Lorie Farrell, Hawaii Farmers & Ranchers United; Alan Takemoto, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association/Bayer CropScience; Crystal Fricker, Pure Seed; Richard Ha, Grower/Speaker, and McKayla Smucker, Pure Seed.

After two long years of virtual meetings, the Pacific Seed Association’s (PSA) Annual Convention was held in person in Waikoloa, Hawaii, for the first time since 2020.

“From a financial position for the association, it was important to uphold our commitment to meet in person. From an association and my personal position, the connections you make in person are vital to continuing to learn business and life lessons from others during the time together,” says Mindy Duerst, communication chair for PSA. “I have always valued the PSA because of the diverse group of seed industry members in different areas. Areas meaning seed types that they specialize in, business locations, ages and experiences. The membership has been a very connected, friendly group and very supportive of each other.”

To Donna Boggs, associate director of PSA, giving everyone the ability to connect in person and network again was invaluable. Not only that, but they were able to finally give that in-person speaker experience with key takeaways to help their members.

“A few of our takeaways are that advocacy for the seed industry and agriculture is so important to the future of ag,” Boggs says. “Making sure the right information about the seed industry is being communicated with our regulatory agencies is a critical part of that.”

In addition, ensuring strategic partnerships with other seed organizations and bringing younger employees to events is important as well to keep the association thriving.

“I have always believed in being a lifetime learner,” says Duerst. “But in my experience, the personal connections you form with people are much deeper when done in person. We agreed we learned a lot over the past two years, but now we see how we can apply those lessons in a hybrid model to get the best of both worlds.”

Key Highlights of the Conference

At the annual conference, PSA announced an award and new board members.

First, PSA announced the 2021 Person of the Year: Joe Baglietto of Baglietto Seeds. He was born June 15th, 1959, in Stockton, Cali., and was exposed to farming and the seed industry at a very young age. In 1990 at the ripe age of 31, Baglietto purchased his father’s stake in the business. From that time, he has lead it to expansive growth within the California field seed market, and continues to make footprints within the industry. He has been an active member in the PSA for many years; he began coming to meetings with his father early in his career. Baglietto eventually served as a board member for the PSA which began in 2006 and unsurprisingly found himself in the role of president of the organization in 2013. He is also an active participant in the California Seed Association and has served on the Seed Advisory Board for the State of California for several years.

Pictured together are the last three Person of the Year award winners. Group Picture of the last three years PSA Person of the Year Winners: Mike Ingham, Rainer Seeds Inc.: 2020 Person of the Year; Mindy Duerst, Ioka Marketing, LLC: 2019 Person of the Year and Joe Baglietto, Baglietto Seeds: 2021 Person Of the Year.

The new officers for 2022 are:

  • Nicole Hostert, California Crop Improvement Association: President
  • Grant Baglietto, Baglietto Seeds: First vice president
  • Mindy Duerst, Ioka Marketing: Second vice president
  • Amy Jenness, Rainier Seeds: Secretary/treasurer
  • Carolyn Lockwood, Interstate Seed: Past president

And the new directors are:

  • Dean Browning, Seeds, Inc.
  • Karen Krych, Clearwater Seed
  • Bill Merrigan, Blue Mt. Seeds, Inc.
  • Michael Rascon, Bailey Seed & Grain and Corvallis Seed Services
  • Annelisa Zander, Berger International

As the year continues, both Duerst and Boggs are looking forward to putting together the next in person annual convention.

“The networking and conversations have always been such an important part of doing business in agriculture,” Boggs says, noting her excitement for the future.

Stay tuned for more news about the 2023 PSA annual conference.