Organic Seed Alliance advances the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed. We accomplish our mission through collaborative research, education, and advocacy programs that closely engage organic farmers and other seed professionals.
Seed is both our common cultural heritage and a living natural resource fundamental to the future sustainability of food production. Proper stewardship of our genetic resources necessitates not only its conservation, but careful management in a manner that allows seed to continually evolve with challenges of the environment, cultural practices of sustainable agriculture, and the need to feed people. We work to restore and develop seed varieties for current needs while safeguarding invaluable genetic resources for future generations.
Meet the staff:
Micaela Colley, Executive Director, Research & Education Director firstname.lastname@example.org In addition to being the Executive Director, Micaela manages participatory plant breeding, research and education projects with farmers, university researchers and other seed professionals. She is chair of the biennial, national Organic Seed Growers Conference, and has authored several educational publications covering topics on organic seed production, on-farm crop improvement and variety trialing and teaches workshops on seed related topics. Micaela has 11 years of experience in the organic seed field including past experience in the organic seed industry.
John Navazio, Senior Scientist, Research & Education, Seed Extension Specialist OSA/WSU email@example.comJohn Navazio, Ph.D. is both the Senior Scientist for OSA and a Plant Breeding and Seed Specialist for Washington State University Extension. John trains farmers, university students and others in organic seed production and the fundamentals of participatory, on-farm plant breeding for organic systems. His breeding work includes increasing genetic breadth in a number of vegetable crops for their nutritional quality, flavor, texture, ability to scavenge nutrients, compete with weeds, and resist heat and drought. John develops participatory breeding projects with farmers across North America to improve crop germplasm for regional seed independence.
Jared Zystro, California Research & Education Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org Jared is working in California as an outreach specialist for OSA. He has a master’s degree in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin. Jared has worked in the organic seed industry for over 6 years, managing seed production at two farms and conducting research and education projects with OSA. In his work at OSA, he has developed participatory breeding projects, compiled and analyzed seed producer surveys, and presented field days, variety trials, and seed production and breeding workshops. Jared lives in the coastal town of Arcata, CA with his wife Lisa Zystro.
Kristina Hubbard, Advocacy & Communications Director email@example.com Kristina Hubbard is the director of advocacy and communications for OSA. She's worked for a decade as a researcher, writer, and organizer on projects involving agricultural biotechnology and antitrust issues in the seed industry. Hubbard leads OSA's efforts to promote policies that support the ongoing growth and success of organic seed systems. She's a contributing author to OSA's State of Organic Seed (2011) and sole author of the National Family Farm Coalition's Out of Hand: Farmers Face the Consequences of a Consolidated Seed Industry (2009). A resident of Montana, Hubbard serves on the board of directors for the Alternative Energy Resources Organization and the Montana Department of Agriculture's Organic Commodity Advisory Council.
Cathleen McCluskey, Communications & Outreach Associate firstname.lastname@example.org Cathleen is a graduate of The Evergreen State College where she studied Agricultural Systems Analysis, worked on food sovereignty campaigns, and organized for federal-level public engagement regarding issues of market concentration in the agriculture sector. She is a farmer, processor, cook, organizer, mentor, writer, and researcher dedicated to building socially and environmentally just agricultural systems. Among other things, Cathleen is a lover of working and playing with the earth, catalyzing communication, and etymology.
Jen Kingfisher, Operations Managerjen@seedalliance.org Jen serves as Operations Manager in our Port Townsend Office. Jen come to OSA with a long history in science education. She has shared her love of science to students of all ages in the field, the lab and the classroom. Jen holds a masters degree in Biology with an emphasis in Plant Ecology from Humboldt State University and a Bachelors degree in Environmental Education from The Evergreen State College. Jen lives in Port Townsend with her husband and young daughter.
Research OSA takes a collaborative approach to creating healthy seed systems, improving organic seed production practices, and developing new seed varieties for organic agriculture. Participatory plant breeding activities are a core component of our research program, linking breeding experts with organic farmers to develop organic seed varieties adapted to local ecosystems and community needs.
Education Our education program includes publishing seed production guides and hosting workshops in the field and classroom. The goal of our education program is to expand farmers' skills and knowledge in conserving crop genetics, producing organic seed, and breeding new plant varieties that perform well in organic conditions.
Advocacy OSA promotes policies that support the growth and success of organic seed systems. This includes advocating for farmer and breeder rights within these systems. We frequently respond to policy initiatives and regulatory decisions that threaten the integrity of the seed systems we foster. These issues include the concentrated ownership of plant genetic resources as well as seed integrity in the face of genetic engineering. We actively showcase the benefits of organic seed.
Advisory Services We provide direct technical assistance and consultations to organic farmers, seed producers, and other community members to increase the quality, quantity, and diversity of organic seed.