From SOSS participants


“SOSS continues to inspire my work greatly. I hope to keep learning from and supporting its work.”

“SOSS helped empower me to follow my dreams and further my interest in the organic seed/breeding industry by letting me meet other like-minded individuals and hearing from leaders in the field as well as fellow student projects.”

“SOSS was a special experience being surrounded by like-minded people with a passion for the organic seed industry and learning the current state of affairs through relevant talks and hands-on field presentations.”

“I'm so pleased to have been able to take part in this year's SOSS. It was easily one of the most useful and motivating events I've participated in as a student.”


"The chance to interact with students, professionals, researchers, and other seed-folk from around the country in an atmosphere of mutual respect for the ideals of organic is truly a uniquely SOSS experience. The size of the group is so conducive to meaningful conversation, collaboration, learning, inspiration, and friendship."

"I'm more excited about my career path now than ever. I think that this symposium will prove to be an inflection point in my professional life."

"SOSS is a good reminder that while we as students are often isolated in our labs with our own research, our projects can truly connect outside of academia."

"SOSS got me thinking outside the world of research, while strengthening my commitment to the blossoming organic seed movement."


"I think the building that took place here went far deeper than work collaborations in research. It really went to the heart of what it means to have a shared dream and what it means to have a shared ambition.”

"SOSS provided me with a broad perspective on how diverse our food system is becoming. We had the opportunity to visit public and private sector facilities that gave me great optimism in my future in agriculture and breeding. There seems to be endless possibilities in what I can do in the seed production and breeding occupation."

"Participating in the Student Organic Seed Symposium was a much-needed, extremely inspiring experience for me. It reminded me about how much impact applied plant breeding can have and allowed me to become part of a welcoming, enthusiastic community of organic plant breeders and advocates of organic agriculture."

"This symposium is much like a retreat where the past, present and future of seed come together to create something far greater than the sum of its parts - to share knowledge, ideas and inspiration, to insulate and nurture unique ideas in each of us so that they grow and expand our future goals..."

"It was so wonderful to be surrounded by fellow grad students, farmers, and organizations passionate about organic agriculture. It inspired a feeling of community between breeders, farmers, processors, and students that doesn't seem to exist to the same extent within conventional systems."

"SOSS was a fantastic event that really opened my eyes to the world of breeding, specifically for organic production. As a breeder-in-training, I am fascinated in the differences between breeding for conventional versus organic systems and I felt like my overall breeding knowledge was enhanced so much. It was also great to network with other students, researchers, and seed producers from all over the U.S.--I have such a bigger perspective now. I had a total blast and I can't wait to come back!!"

"SOSS 2013 was a dream vacation - visiting picturesque farms on the Pacific coast, learning about breeding programs for diverse crops and regional needs, and seeing the fruits of farmer-breeder relationships. The wisdom shared from seasoned breeders and connections made with aspiring breeders are both invaluable and encouraging."

"What struck me most about SOSS 2013 was the number of student participants who were actively engaged in organic breeding projects, compared to the much smaller number from 2012. I think that SOSS plays a crucial role in continuing supporting that increase, and provides a vital space for like-minded students to connect, share research ideas and build relationships."

"I deepened my knowledge about crops that I do not work on, learned about small seed companies that I was unfamiliar with, and got to know some of the mentors and heroes in the organic seed world. While in my University setting I sometimes feel like I am out on the fringe or a little nuts, the SOSS meeting was great reassurance that breeding for organic systems IS a good idea, something important and needed, and something that there is increasing science and momentum to support." 

“It certainly encouraged me regarding the quality of the young scientists coming along who are interested in organic production, germplasm preservation and use, and sustainable agriculture, and that have heart as well as intellect and technical ability.”

“Fantastic experience. I am so thankful to be part of such an intelligent, ethically-minded, fun group of people. It was wonderful that the speakers spent the entire time with us; it was so valuable to have informal interactions with them.”