ASTA Announces Winners of Second Annual “Better Seed, Better Life” Student Video Contest

During the CSS 2018 & Seed Expo General Session Tuesday, Kevin Falk, left, accepts the grand prize for ASTA's second annual "Better Seed, Better Life" student video contest. (Chris Lusvardi photo)

Chicago, IL (December 4, 2018) — Kevin Falk, Iowa State University, is the grand prize winner of the American Seed Trade Association's (ASTA) second annual “Better Seed, Better Life” student video contest, held in conjunction with the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of American and Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies). Falk was honored Dec. 4 during ASTA’s CSS 2018 & Seed Expo in Chicago, IL.

The 2018 contest theme was: “Rumor Has It.” University students — including both graduate and undergraduate — were asked to create videos to help set the record straight on a common misconception or myth associated with the seed industry and/or plant science.

Watch Kevin’s winning video here.

Falk is currently a PhD candidate at Iowa State University focusing on soybean breeding. He holds a master’s in plant breeding from the University of Manitoba and worked in canola breeding programs at Monsanto and Bayer for five years prior to returning to pursue his PhD at Iowa State. He is one of five PhD students in the Singh soybean breeding and plant phenomics group. His PhD work focuses around harnessing technology to develop high throughput phenotyping platforms to advance plant breeding. He enjoys playing hockey, kitesurfing, videography, and exploring new technology. Kevin is set to graduate in the coming months and is interested in science, agriculture and using media to connect and communicate with the public.

Second and third place winners were Kshitij Khatri, University of Florida, and Nathalia Penna Cruzato, Texas A&M University.

Videos were judged by an expert panel of volunteers from ASTA, NAPB and Tri-Societies; winning students received cash prizes.


Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASTA is the leading voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. The association's broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.

Kevin Falk, Iowa State University student