Beyond the Seed

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Seed Industry Aims to Take People Beyond the Seed10/14/2009

For Immediate Release

October 14, 2009

Contact: Gretchen E. Flanley, (301) 233-7401


Seed Industry Aims to Take People Beyond the Seed

Alexandria, Va. (Oct. 14, 2009) – Much like other areas of technology and innovation, the American seed industry has seen a dramatic evolution in the use of science and technology to provide farmers with new and improved seed varieties.  This scientific transformation has presented today’s seed industry  with the challenge of how to inform growers, legislators, regulators, the public, media and others that today's seed is not the seed of our fathers or grandfathers.


In order to meet that challenge, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) first unveiled in December 2008 a program that goes "Beyond the Seed!" Today, ASTA launches the Beyond the Seed Web site to reach the industry's many stakeholders about the value of seed innovation for today and the great potential for our future. The Beyond the Seed Program will unite the seed industry and its partners to communicate a shared message on the benefits of promoting and protecting innovation to customers and policy makers.


"The value that innovation brings to our customers and the importance of intellectual property protection plays in bringing new products to the market are key ASTA strategic goals. ASTA is excited to launch the Beyond the Seed program to raise awareness and understanding of the value that goes beyond the seed," said ASTA President and CEO Andy LaVigne. "The future success of U.S. agriculture depends upon quality seed delivered by an industry commitment to bringing innovation and performance through continued investment."


A Web site is critical in today's information highway. This Beyond the Seed informational vehicle(www.beyondtheseed.orgwill allow the greatest exposure to the broadest of audiences, as well as serve as a resource for program ambassadors, ASTA members, staff and partner organizations. The Web site has a public section which delves deeper into the three areas that are the foundation for the Beyond the Seed program - Commitment, Innovation and Performance - and offers a variety of informational resources that will be updated and added to on a regular basis.


The program was designed to provide an array of tools, easily accessed through registration on the Web site. A logo (shown above) serves as the cornerstone of the Beyond the Seed program - highlighting the seed industry's commitment to innovation and bringing performance to the farm. The logo can be used on seed or related products that provide information on technology or scientific research and development related to agricultural seeds and the seed industry. Registration and guidelines for use of the logo can be found on the site.


Another key component of the program is the role of the Beyond the Seed Ambassador. Through the Web site, advocates of seed innovation and technology can apply through a simple on-line process to be a Beyond the Seed Ambassador. The ambassadors will personally carry the message of the Beyond the Seed program to audiences throughout the agricultural value-chain, from seed customers to consumers, as well as policy makers. Through a password protected resource on the Web site, ambassadors can access additional tools to enhance their outreach.  The tools include a 10-page brochure simply explaining the Beyond the Seed Program and an accompanying wallet card which is a great little give away that emphasizes nuggets of seed facts for people to consider. It is a nice piece to hand out at trade shows or for a representative to tuck in their wallet for that quick conversation on the elevator.


One of the main outreach tools is a standard presentation that supports and emphasizes the messages of the Beyond the Seed Program. Unique to this project is that the standard presentation not only includes notes for a Beyond the Seed Ambassador to personally deliver the presentation, but it also has a voiceover option. This will allow the presenter to "play" the presentation for audiences. In addition, this version of the presentation is available on the Web site to reach a broader audience, making the site more dynamic. The Web site will offer additional slide options that go deeper into explanations for specific audiences, explaining industry technologies or drawing upon different case studies such as those developed by Iowa State University.


If seed innovation and the protection of intellectual property are passions for you, then ASTA wants you in the legion of Beyond the Seed ambassadors. Training, materials and resources will be provided to further this seed industry message. To learn more about the project, please visit today! 


Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association, located in Alexandria, Va., is one of the oldest trade organizations in the United States. Its membership consists of about 750 companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America. As an authority on plant germplasm, ASTA advocates science and policy issues of industry importance. Its mission is to enhance the development and free movement of quality seed worldwide.




ASTA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact ASTA at (703) 837-8140.


American Seed Trade Association · 1701 Duke Street · Suite 275 · Alexandria VA 22314