Atlantic Seed Association Holds 2018 Annual Convention in Vermont

Burlington, VT (October 11, 2018) – The Atlantic Seed Association (ASA) held its 2018 Annual Convention Oct. 5-9 in Burlington, VT.

The group took part in an organized tour Oct. 6 throughout northern Vermont, which included stops at Borderview Farm, Alburgh, VT; Snow Farm Vineyard/Winery, South Hero, VT; and L.D. Oliver Seed Co., Milton, VT.

Borderview Farm

Borderview Farm is located just across the road from the United States border with Canada. The farm has been operated for 15 years as part of a partnership between the University of Vermont (UVM) and farmer Roger Rainville.

UVM Agronomist Heather Darby says the majority of the research plots have been built from scratch. Crops that are grown on the farm include corn, small grains, hops, industrial hemp, milkweed, cover crops, and soybeans, she says.

The farm is 250 acres, the majority of which Rainville says is dedicated to research.

Field days are held throughout the year and annual research reports are published, Darby notes.

“We have research that you can’t really see anywhere else,” Darby says. “They can come here to learn about it.”

L.D. Oliver Seed Co.

L.D. Oliver Seed Co., which started in the early 1900’s, produces and distributes a variety of turf seed mixes along with custom-blended fertilizers and horticulture products.

President Steve Hardy says it has expanded from the original two buildings in the front of the site, which has rail access.

“It opens up after the main building,” Hardy says. “Nobody realizes how much we have in the back.”

A 20,000-square-foot warehouse was added in 1997 as he says 20 acres were added to the site. The seed production plant includes retail space along with seed blending equipment and storage.

The company supplies customers in the Northeast, with dealers in Maines, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, says Hardy, who was the ASA president this year.

Convention Activities

The ASA convention was held at the Hilton Burlington Hotel, overlooking Lake Champlain. Activities throughout the weekend included wine tastings, tours of the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. factory, and President’s Reception Dinner Cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen on Lake Champlain.

A lunch and wine tasting was held Oct. 6 at Snow Farm Vineyard, which calls itself Vermont’s oldest commercial vineyard located in the heart of the Champlain Islands. It is part of a third generation farm owned and operated by the Lane family. On Oct. 7, an optional tasting at Shelburne Vineyard was organized.

Speakers during the business meeting Oct. 8 included turfgrass specialist Lee Keller and Terry Bradshaw of the UVM Fruit and Vegetable division talking about “Sustainability Practices Supporting Vermont Orchards and Vineyards.”

Keller discussed his experience in grounds keeping for the NFL, including at several Super Bowls. He will be traveling to England this month to help prepare the Wembley Stadium field for three games.

Written by Chris Lusvardi, Seed Today editor