ASTA Members Storm the Hill As Conference in Washington, DC Wraps Up

Washington, DC (June 13, 2018) – Members of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) were participating in Storm the Hill meetings Tuesday and Wednesday as the Policy and Leadership Development Conference in Washington, DC drew to a close.

Members were meeting with lawmakers and staff from their home states to discuss legislative priorities for the seed industry. ASTA expects to have held over 170 appointments on Capitol Hill to share the seed industry story with lawmakers.

At the PLDC Gala Banquet on June 13, ASTA presented two “Storm the Hill” awards. Indiana was given the award for the state with the most representation at the event. A coalition from RiceTec received the award for the best photo from Capitol Hill. To see pictures from these meetings, look at #stormthehill18 and #stormthehill2018 on Twitter or visit the Flickr album.

Interest in the Farm Bill is high as the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee is set Wednesday to discuss the key piece of agricultural legislation. The full House rejected a version of the legislation last month.

The meetings with lawmakers come as the Policy and Leadership Development Conference concludes. Following the meetings, ASTA members can tour the Capitol and a Reception and Banquet Gala is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

The ASTA board of directors meeting Thursday is open to all members for the first time as leaders look to gain further feedback on a strategic plan approved earlier in the week to drive its policy over the next three years and a provide a State of the Association update. The group is looking to provide more details on its priorities based on the needs of the seed industry.

ASTA notes other accomplishments from throughout the conference:

  • ASTA signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the National FFA Foundation to better connect our two organizations and promote youth education programs.
  • The American Seed Research Foundation and the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders voted to combine their two organizations into one, creating the new Seed Science Foundation.
  • The first-ever live webinar session delivered content to a virtual audience of over 150 viewers.
  • The new PL/DC Lightning Talks series delivered fresh learning opportunities in an innovative format, featuring topics from recruiting and retaining employees, to sexual harassment, to the importance of ASTA’s work for regional companies, the seed industry political landscape – and a special presentation from State FFA officers from Maryland and Virginia.

For more highlights and photos from throughout the week, follow Seed Today on Twitter and Facebook.

Written by Chris Lusvardi, Seed Today editor