THE 4TH ANNUAL STUDENT ORGANIC SEED SYMPOSIUM GERMINATES ON AUGUST 9, 2015!
Farmers, gardeners, and curious eaters, please join us at:
Organic Seed School on August 9
Register by August 6!
Science Cafe on August 10
Green Genes: Seed Breeding for Organic Agriculture
STUDENT ORGANIC SEED SYMPOSIUM
Entering its fourth year, this symposium was originally incepted to create a scientific community in which graduate students, researchers, farmers, and industry professionals could build relationships and form collaborations to develop the organic seed movement. Planned by a team of graduate students from across the country, this year's three-day event is being hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Horticulture and will take place August 9th- 12th, 2015.
"GROWING THE ORGANIC SEED SPECTRUM, A COMMUNITY APPROACH"
Diversity is a hallmark of healthy ecosystems. In such settings, the interdependence of many distinctly different organisms brings about a balanced whole. Wide variation in size and function – from microscopic to massive, decomposer to carnivore – allows the system to thrive.
This concept inspired the theme of this year’s Student Organic Seed Symposium: “Growing the organic seed spectrum: A community approach.” Within organic agriculture, we see a range of needs among farmers, as their soils, microclimates, and customer needs vary. We see diversity in the structure and focus of university breeding programs, corresponding to varied financial resources, researcher skill sets, and state-specific missions. We see variation in the scale and character of organic seed companies according to the markets they serve and the vision they have for a sustainable seed future.
Our goal during the 4th annual SOSS is to better understand the diversity within the organic seed sector – the “organic seed spectrum,” if you will – and learn how to use it to the advantage of the whole community. That is, how can small and large seed companies, public and private breeding programs, students and professionals, farmers and breeders, work together to strengthen organic seed quality and availability? How can we create new varieties that will help launch organic agriculture into a new era of profitability and practicality? How can we develop genetically diverse varieties that work across heterogeneous environments and changing climates to satisfy the nutritional and culinary needs of the world?
The symposium will provide an environment that facilitates the continued network established in the previous years, which has led to new research initiatives and post-graduate career opportunities in the organic seed sector. It will also foster the free exchange of ideas, knowledge, and research surrounding organic seed breeding, production, and ethics. The conference theme, "Growing the Organic Seed Spectrum, a Community Approach," will be explored through lectures from invited organic community experts and field trips showcasing the Midwest's organic seed spectrum- from local to global integration. Each year, our outreach and momentum build as new graduate students, faculty members, farmers, and industry stakeholders participate in our authentic community experience.