The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) advances the ethical development and stewardship of seeds. One way that they protect seed stock for current and future needs is through political action. Recently, OSA organized around genetically engineered (GE) wheat contamination in Oregon. This work included delivering a letter signed by 150 farm organizations and businesses to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture about the inadequacies of U.S. GE crop regulations; convening weekly calls with stakeholders; and arranging a farmer fly-in to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Secretary and members of Congress.
Farm Aid supported the two farmers who attended this fly-in. One of them, Clint Lindsey, an Oregon conventional and organic wheat grower, said he appreciated OSA’s “boots-on-the-ground work in policy and advocacy that protects our way of life.” Organic seed stewardship is about much more than cultivating crops, it requires organizations like OSA to stand up and fight.
Organic Seed Alliance believes that seeds belong in the hands of people, not in the hands of patent owners. Farm Aid helps them make this vision a reality. “There are few funding organizations that enthusiastically support seed-specific advocacy efforts. This includes the urgent work to confront GMOs [genetically modified organisms], seed industry consolidation and patents on seed, while promoting the alternative: organic seed systems developed by and for farmers. Farm Aid’s support has allowed Organic Seed Alliance to address threats to seed integrity and sovereignty, and to advocate for the important role farmers play in saving, improving and ultimately controlling their seed supply.”