by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Agrimarketing : American Seed Trade Association
SALUTE TO ASTA! THENEXT125YEARS Name: AndrewLaVigne Title: President/CEO, American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Career:He has been Exec VP/CEO of Florida CitrusMutual, representing citrus growers. Prior,hewas Pres/Exec Dir of the Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association and has been on the staffs of the U.S. Congress and USDA. Education: B.A. in political science fromthe University of Florida and aminor in economics. AM:What is the composition of ASTA’s membership? AL: There are approximately 750 member companies that comprise the association.ASTArepresents small,mediumand large seed com- panies across awide range of crops that produce higher-yielding com- modities, hardier vegetable varieties, newflower colors,more resilient turf varieties, and so on. The companies offer seed derived fromall productionmethods, includ- ing organic, conventional breeding and biotechnology.As in all of agri- culture, the seed industry has adapted and responded to the rapidly changing globalmarket- place, yetASTA, and itsmembers, continue to drive the innovation of tomorrowfor theAmerican seed industry. AM:What are the benefits of belonging? AL: ASTAprovides a strong, effective voice in support of the seed indus- try’s interests; informsmembers about research developments, indus- try trends, legislation, regulations, and other issues that can affect seed businesses and their profitability; provides a forumfor sharing ideas, information, opinions and concerns with professionalswho havemutual interests; and provides services and professional development programs specific to the seed industry thatmay not be available fromother trade associations. One unique aspect ofASTAis that each company receives one vote on all associationmatters regardless of size, so this provides an opportunity for eachmember company to participate evenly in the deliberative process. The association also provides numerous opportunities for individ- uals to engage in the decisionmak- ing process through participation in itsmore than 20 issue-focused com- mittees and divisions. In addition, ASTAfosters industry collaboration through conducting fourmajor con- ferences and numerousworkshops and training opportunities through- out the year. AM: Howdoes ASTA help build demand for itsmembers’s products/services? AL: Over the 125 year history of ASTA,members haveworked together to enable seed producers to successfullymeet the challenges of American agriculture. Through the passage of key pieces of legislation and regulations, the seed industry has developed the basic building blocks that strive to protect thework of plant breeders, researchers and seed companies. Through the Federal SeedAct, the Plant Variety ProtectionAct, phytosanitary regulations, farmbills and others,America’s seed compa- nies have the foundation onwhich they drive the U.S., aswell as the global, seed industries. ASTA, directed by itsmembers, leads theway by driving regulatory 22 AgriMarketing s American Seed Trade Association Supplement and legislativematters at the state, national and international levels; newtechnology and innovation across all seed types; and communi- cation and education to the industry and the general public. AM: How does ASTA interactwith other seed trade organizations? AL: Building bridges in the U.S. and overseas is an important part of ASTA’smission. Through our rela- tionshipswith state and regional seed trade associations,ASTAsupports grassroots efforts at a local level. For example,ASTAprovides impact analyses on proposed state seed legislation or has served as a resource in outreach on the impor- tance of intellectual property protec- tion in overseasmarkets. Over the last year,ASTAhas establishedmore formalworking arrangementswith state and regional seed associations so that all efforts are better coordinated, information is shared and the impact is greater for all of theAmerican seed industry. Internationally,ASTAstaff and members are active in several seed associations, fromthe overarching International Seed Federation (ISF) to those specific to a region. Through ISF,ASTAinteractswith the other ISFmembers spread over 70 devel- oped and developing countries, bringing together amajority of the world seed trade and plant breeders’ community to an international forumwhere issues of interest to the world seed industry are discussed. AM: Anything else you would like to bring to the ag industry’sattention? AL: The seed industry is committed to bring the research, development and innovation needed forAmerican agriculture in order to help farmers meet all the demands facing them. Aswe look at the extraordinary opportunities and the challenges that face agricultural producers in the twenty-first century,ASTA’smem- berswill lead theway in addressing those issues. AM
November December 2008