Organic Seed Production
Grow Seed for the Common Good
This interactive, cohort-based course is designed to supplement an on-farm seed production training experience. The course includes six modules over six months, and is focused on the biological, technical and economic aspects of organic seed production. In 2020, the course is offered by invitation only to host farmers in our advisory network. Any producer working on a seed farm is invited to join in 2021.
The goal of the program is to grow a network of seed farms that provide interns real-world experience in seed production, business planning, and other skills. The program emphasizes training in organic seed production given ongoing gaps in the supply. Organic seed production is a potentially lucrative opportunity for farmers, yet the specialized skill set required to grow high-quality organic seed serves as a barrier to entry for many farmers.
Sales of organic products in the U.S. have grown tremendously, including sales of organic seed. Planting organic seed is a requirement of the national organic standards; however, certified organic farmers are allowed to use untreated, non-organic seed when availability is limited because the organic seed supply hasn’t caught up to meet demand.
While demand for organic seed is high, there aren’t enough trained organic seed farmers to help these seed companies fulfill their supply needs. The Seed Internship Program is one effort to address this lack of training.
May – August 2020