Mike Stahr, Iowa State University Seed Laboratory

Ric Dunkle, ASTA

Orlando, FL (December 21, 2023) - At the conclusion of 2023, the seed industry will see two of ASTA’s longtime advocates and friends move on from their work.

The first is Mike Stahr from the Iowa State University Seed Laboratory. In addition to serving two terms as president of the Association of Official Seed Analysts, he also served a number of years on the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists’ Board of Directors.

As Manager of ISU’s Seed Laboratory, he has made various contributions to benefit students on campus and seed analysts all over the world, authoring various handbooks and manuals, co-founding the Genetic Super Workshop, and hosting the ISU short course on seed testing.

The second departure is bittersweet for ASTA staff as it hits closer to home.

Ric Dunkle, Ph.D., ASTA’s Senior Director of Seed Health and Trade, will retire at the end of this year. Dunkle, who joined ASTA in 2008, counts more than 35 years of public service at the state and federal level.

Dunkle has utilized his deep experience and vast network to help move seed across borders and around the world, ensuring the industry can navigate the many challenges, including regulatory and environmental obstacles. In his most recent role prior to ASTA, he served as Deputy Administrator of APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, overseeing USDA’s plant regulatory and trade programs related to phytosanitary issues.

"Both men have storied careers in seed R&D and phytosanitary requirements and leave behind legacies that will live on in the seed industry," ASTA says. "On behalf of all their colleagues, past and present, we thank them for their service, their expertise, but most importantly, their friendship. We wish them well in their retirement."

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