SALEM, Ore. – Recently, more than 140 people attended the Oregon Seed Association’s (OSA) annual Mid-Winter Meeting at the Salem Conference Center. Guests included keynote speaker Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture; Jeff Weier, director of technical services for Sprague Pest Solutions; Risa DeMasi, first vice chair of the American Seed Trade Association; and Ron Pence, operations manager, Export & Seed Service for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

The OSA Mid-Winter Meeting is a one-day event that includes committee meetings, association business and updates from state agencies. Participants discussed legislative priorities for the upcoming session, as well as issues relating to genetically modified crops, national uniformity of seed lab testing standards and domestic and international concerns.

One of the highlights of the meeting was awarding more than $8,500 in scholarships to eight Oregon State University students. Three types of scholarships are awarded to students seeking higher education in agriculture with aspirations for a future in the seed industry. Committee chair Nancy Aerni, Turf Merchants, Inc., presented the scholarships. Recipients were invited to attend the meeting to accept their awards.

Recipients of OSA/OSU scholarship awards included Mitch Evers, Forest Grove, Oregon; Jaimee Brentano, Newberg, Oregon; Levi Graffenberger, Albany, Oregon; Simon Fraher, Olympia, Wasington; and Tanner Holland, Corvallis, Oregon. The American Seed Trade Association scholarship was awarded to Chase Cochran, Corvallis, Oregon. In addition, Gabe Flick, Middleton, Idaho, and Andrew Altishin, Corvallis, Oregon, were both awarded the William Kent Wiley Jr. Fellowship scholarship award.

OSA membership has seen growth in recent years, a trend that continued this year with the addition of three new companies—Bailey Seed & Grain, Saddle Butte Ag, Inc. and Vista Seed Partners LLC. This brings OSA’s membership total to 103.