Seed World

IPSA Inducts New Board Members, Talks State of the Association

contrast different bright human watercolor painting design

At the Independent Professional Seed Association’s (IPSA) 34th annual conference, the IPSA board facilitated their annual business luncheon, where new board members are elected, retired members are celebrated and the state of the association is addressed.

This year, two board members finished their terms on the board — Tim Greene of Burrus Seed, past president of IPSA from 2021-22, and Brad Taylor of Taylor Seed Farms. 

“To see directors that have been with us for the last six years and have contributed so much to the organization — their time, their efforts… And now they get to go back home,” says Todd Martin, CEO of IPSA. “I’m happy and excited for people that have done that obligation and volunteer their time so willingly.”

Greene and Taylor both received paintings as gifts for their time serving on the board.

In addition, IPSA elected two new members to the board: Ben Greene of Purple Ribbon Seed and Jeff Renk of Renk Seed. Their term will end in 2025.

Finally, on Thursday, Jan. 26, IPSA passed the gavel from one president to the next. Chris Cornelius, who served as IPSA president from 2022-23, passed the gavel to upcoming IPSA president Chris Latham, who will serve as president from 2023-24. Cornelius will continue to serve on the IPSA board as past president. 

State of the Association

When it comes to the state of the association, Martin says there’s one thing that the IPSA board members have strode to achieve: forward progress and change. 

“We’ve had a lot of changes happen and we have a lot of changes in scope,” Martin says. “And one of the challenges that we’ve had is how IPSA has evolved to rise to that challenge. It’s not been easy.”

One thing that’s undergone recent change is the IPSA field trials — trials meant to test seed treatments and enhancements to find out which bring the biggest benefits to members and to understand new treatments coming to market. 

“It seems like since I came to IPSA in 2015, one of the things that constantly evolves a bit are our seed treatment and enhancement trials. After listening to feedback in 2017, we made a change and saw the integrity of our trials go up tremendously,” Martin says. “We’re at that point again. These are your trials.”

Martin adds that with the partnership between IPSA and Gro Alliance, the IPSA trials will see change, evolution and more value for members. 

But, IPSA is also looking to become more of an advocate for independent seed companies in Washington D.C., especially with the addition of Laura Wood Peterson as a consultant to IPSA. 

“We’ve been able to sit down in spaces that I’ve never sat down previously and meet with people I’ve never been able to meet with previously in any other role,” Martin says. “A lot of you don’t see IPSA as an advocator, but when it comes to issues important to this group, we’re going to get involved. We want to be able to represent your voice.”

And finally, IPSA member benefits continue to evolve — IPSA offers a small number of medical benefits to IPISA member companies, and they’re continuing to look into new programs that will create more value. 

“[IPSA] stays behind the members,” Martin says. “We want to offer services behind the scenes and help your companies overall.”