Seed World

Meet Chris Boomsma, Seed World U.S. Editorial Board Member

Chris Boomsma is the CEO of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST).

In this role, he leads the organization in fulfilling its mission to assemble, interpret and communicate credible, science-based information regionally, nationally and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector and the public.

Prior to joining CAST, Chris was the director of education for the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and the director of science and strategy for Decode 6. He previously served in various leadership, research and product development roles at Purdue University and Dow AgroSciences.

Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in plant science from Dordt University and a Ph.D. in crop physiology and agronomy from Purdue University. He is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg) and serves on the boards of several organizations including the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NCFAR) and the Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA). In his free time, he enjoys volunteering, exercising, reading, gardening and traveling with his family.

Why he serves on the Seed World U.S. editorial board: “I deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Seed World U.S. editorial board. Why? Because the publication brings important and timely news and information to an audience that has a significant positive influence on American and international agriculture. The seed industry is pivotal to a sustainable agricultural system, and serving on the editorial board gives me an avenue by which I can help support an industry that has been a crucial part of my career and remains a vital sector in my current work. It is a privilege to serve with my fellow editorial board members to identify the latest trends and topics that will be impacting the seed industry in the short- and long-term, and I hope that my contributions, however minor, help Seed World U.S. deliver content of exceptional value to its audience.”

What do you love about the seed industry?

I love how the seed industry utilizes key sciences and technologies to deliver a product of massive importance to the farmer. From genome editing to precision agriculture to artificial intelligence, the seed industry aptly employs leading technologies to remain innovative and consistently deliver value. That, for me, is exciting, challenging, and professionally rewarding.

What do you see as a big opportunity for the seed industry in the future?

I think the seed industry can be a fundamentally important player in building the resilience of agricultural systems to climate change. The genetic improvement efforts already underway in the industry can further enhance the tolerance to drought, heat, and flooding in a diversity of crop production system, especially when partnered with precision crop management. This is a clear opportunity for impact given these environmental phenomena are likely to increase with a changing climate. Also, I believe the fundamental science and resulting products of the seed industry can play a more significant role in building increasingly sustainable agricultural systems that have positive economic, environmental, and social impacts in farm communities.