Seed World

Day 1 – Live From ASTA’s Veg & Flower Seed Conference

Today’s official agenda had only two scheduled sessions:

ASTA’s Seed Ambassador Leadership Team (SALT) hosted a by invitation only training workshop. SALT is a diverse network of ASTA members who actively engage, promote, and support the seed industry with a unified voice. ASTA provides members of this exclusive team with free training and ongoing support to help them become everyday seed ambassadors. The workshop today featured interactive training in areas including answering tough questions, personal branding, social media strategy, communications styles, and how to be an effective every-day ambassador for the industry. Speakers at today’s workshop included Kim Bremmer from Ag Inspirations LLC, and Patricia Morrow (an ASTA Honorary Member) from Morrow Comms.

The Systems Approach phytosanitary workshop ran all afternoon. It featured four USDA-APHIS speakers as well as ASTA’s director of seed health and trade, Martha Malapi. The concept behind a systems approach to phytosanitary integrates the biological traits of a quarantine pest with the production and other operational practices of growers to meet the import requirements of a trading partner. Based on the concept of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, a systems approach uses multiple mitigation measures at key points in the crop production cycle with the goal of achieving an acceptable level of protection against quarantine pest introduction. During this hands-on workshop, attendees learned how to develop their seed health management plana, which is based on a systems approach and is a key requirement for USDA’s Regulatory Framework for Seed Health (ReFreSH). USDA speakers described the foundational tools used and their advantages and disadvantages, how we justify different mitigation requirements, the efficacy of the methods used, and how to ensure the integrity of the system approach is maintained.

While official sessions are great learning opportunities, anyone who has attended a seed industry conference knows many of the biggest opportunities for learning and business growth come from the casual conversations and scheduled one-on-one meetings with other conference attendees. This year’s Vegetable and Flower Seed is no different: the hallways and meeting rooms at the Monterey Conference Center and the Portola Hotel are abuzz with business activity. If you haven’t had a chance to connect with Seed World U.S. editor Aimee Nielson, she’d love to chat with! Pop by the Seed World Media Center (the uniquely round media pod located in the foyer) or schedule a meeting time here.