About Seeds and Breeds:

The federal government has largely stopped funding classical breeding efforts at state land grant institutions and has largely shifted agricultural germplasm research toward only patented varieties that prevent farmers from saving seeds. Yet one of the basic building blocks of any successful agricultural system - conventional or organic - is farmer access to seeds and breeds that are well adapted to local conditions, soils and climates. NOC advocates to make classical plant and animal breeding a priority within the USDA research apparatus.

NOC is advocating for increased resources for public plant and animal breeding in the 2018 Farm Bill and through the annual appropriations process. The Seeds for the Future Act, which was introduced in March of 2018 would help American farms meet future challenges by reinvesting in our public plant breeding programs with a focus on regional adaptation. NOC is urging that these provisions be included in the 2018 Farm Bill.

In 2014, the Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, a NOC member organization, organized a summit on Seeds and Breeds for the 21st Century Agriculture. The summit proceedings provide an excellent summary of the recommendations developed by participants to reinvigorate public plant and animal breeding and reverse the decline in agro-biodiversity and increasing vulnerability of our food system.