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Agrimarketing : American Seed Trade Association
THE VOICE OF THE SEED INDUSTRY/continued frompage 11 duction of fresh produce or that these pathogens are transmitted fromseed to this produce. ASTAcontinues to increase advo- cacy and education opportunities for ASTAmembers via contacts and interactionwith key government policy and regulatory officials.ASTA has excellent representation of gov- ernment officials at theirmeetings and conference. The annual exchanges at the meetings of the Environmental and Conservation Seed Committee and the Phytosanitary Committee provide an open forumfor industry and gov- ernment to identify issues related to the seed trade and propose solutions. ASTAplans to expand the num- ber of U.S. government-ASTAwork- shops,while creating newopportu- nities for these beneficial exchanges, aswell as increase the presence of ASTAmembers serving on U.S. gov- ernment advisory committees. LEGAL PROTECTION Advocate and defend the intellectual property interests of the U.S. seed industry, domestically and interna- tionally, including providing educa- tion to dealers, growers, legislators, government officials and customers. As in any industry in the U.S., the legal protection of intellectual prop- erty encourages investment by com- panies to bring newinnovations to market. The seed industry is no dif- ferent, and it is important that the customerswho benefit fromthese innovations better understand how this protection and further invest- ment benefits themdirectly. Seed is evolving rapidly thanks to newinnovations and technologies that have enabled us to provide higher quality,better performing varieties and hybrids toAmerica’s farmers. The seed industry iswork- ing hard to deliver a consistent, high quality product that benefits every- one today and tomorrow. ASTAis developing tools for its members to create informed discus- sions between the seed industry and their first customers, the growers, about the value seed brings to their operations.With the launch of the Beyond the Seed programat the 2008 ASTACorn&Sorghumand Soybean ASTA’sBeyond the Seed programexplains howintellectual property protection delivers value to growers. Seed Research Conference, the pro- gramwill help to explain howthe pur- chase of quality seed, not only helps the growers’ production today, but also invests in the innovation of seed for tomorrow. Beyond the Seed pro- gramtoolswill include a brochure, wallet card,Web site and presentation materials formembers to use. ASTAalso addresses the impor- tance of intellectual property rights to the seed industry in domestic and international forums.ASTAstaff and memberswork together in various international and governmental venues, such as International Seed Federation, the International Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV), the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), and the Plant Variety Protection Advisory Board, where the protection of intellectual property is discussed. COLLABORATION More effectivelymanage the increas- ing number of state and local gov- ernment actions impacting the seed industry. ASTArecognizes the value and resources of state and regional seed associations. There is a great need and benefit to communicate, coordi- nate andwork together, as each organization has unique strengths and resources available to them. ASTAhas committed to a lead role in enhancing this synergy. 12 AgriMarketing s American Seed Trade Association Supplement In addition to havingASTAstaff and leadership represented at state and regional seed associationmeet- ings,ASTAprovides opportunities for state and regional seed association executives tomeet on a regular basis and discuss various seed issues. The sessions have enabledASTA to assist in strategically planning and positioning the seed industry to address challenges at the local, state and national levels. Theworkshops reflect the interests, concerns and priorities of a very diverse seed industry. Creating synergy helps ensure that the seed industry iswell-posi- tioned and remains an effective advocate for all ourmembers. COMMUNICATION Dealmore effectivelywith ASTA publics—media, government, industry, customers and the public at largewith increasing emphasis on supporting seed industry views deeper in the value chain. ACommunications Steering Com- mittee has been formed andwill have direct interactionwith the Board of Directors due to the strate- gic importance of communication both inside and outside ofASTA. Drawing fromits diversemember- ship, this newly formed committee will forge forwardwith strategies to dealmore effectivelywithASTA publics.
November December 2008