ASTA chairman welcomes new board members, urges continued advocacy

At the American Seed Trade Association’s (ASTA) recent annual convention, Chairman John Schoenecker thanked two outgoing board members for their service, welcomed their successors and urged the organization to continue its advocacy efforts.

The ASTA members that are leaving the board are Mervyn Selvidge, of Z&S Seed Services Inc., who served as western region vice president, and Jim Schweigert of GroAlliance LLC, who most recently served as vice president to Canada. The new members are Fred Fabre, of S&W Seed Co., and Matt Hynes of GROWMARK.

In his comments before relinquishing the chairmanship to Risa DeMasi of Grassland Oregon, Schoenecker said the association must continue advocating on behalf of important issues to the seed industry.

“Strong advocacy is needed to further drive the debate on issues such as genetically modified organism-labeling,” Schoenecker said. ”This year, ASTA worked to build advocacy and education tools, provided training for members, kicked off a new communications campaign and launched the SeedFirstPAC.”

Shoenecker acknowledged that there's risk involved, but he said companies must be willing to take on a little risk to advance the larger issues, including pollinators, a seed-specific international standard on phytosanitary measures and synchronizing regulatory approvals.

"We've got to be willing to take these risks," Shoenecker said, calling for companies to commit people, time and resources to the association to continue moving these efforts forward.

Also inducted as officers during the convention were Monsanto Vegetable Seeds' Mark Herrmann, as vice chair, and Tracy Tally, of Justin Seed Co. Inc., as second vice chair.

Organizations in this story

American Seed Trade Association 1701 Duke St Alexandria, VA 22314

Z&S Seed Services Inc 1143 Madison Ln Salinas, CA 93907

GroAlliance LLC 613 N Randolph St Cuba City, WI 53807

S&W Seed Co 7108 N Fresno St Fresno, CA 93720

Grassland Oregon 4455 60th Ave NE Salem, OR 97305

Justin Seed Co 524 South Hwy 156 Justin TX 76247 ,

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