Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is one of the oldest trade organizations in the United States. Its membership consists of over 650 companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America. As an authority on plant germplasm, ASTA advocates science and policy issues of industry-wide importance.
ASTA’s mission is to be an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.
What We Do
The American Seed Trade Association, directed by its members, is involved in nearly all issues relating to plant germplasm, focusing on three areas of industry importance:
- Regulatory and legislative matters at international, national and state levels;
- New technologies impacting all crop species; and
- Communication and education of members and appropriate public audiences regarding science and policy issues affecting the seed industry.
Activities include enhancing the visibility of seed issues in the public arena; advocating industry-wide positions on policy issues; informing members about environmental and conservation issues and new developments in plant breeding, such as the use of modern biotechnology; conducting meetings to inform members about seed issues and to encourage fellowship among seed professionals; promoting global sales of US seeds; funding select seed research programs; and maintaining positive working relationships with related professional organizations.
ASTA has more than 650 member companies, including over 390 active members that are directly involved in seed production or distribution and research and development, 20 corresponding members that produce or distribute seed outside of North America, 51 affiliate members that are related associations and agencies, 32 reciprocal members and 166 associate members that provide products or services for the seed industry. ASTA membership accounts for approximately 85 percent of all private US seed companies operating in the United States. Ninety-five percent of ASTA’s active members are small businesses that report annual sales of less than $15 million.
Most active, affiliate, and associate members are headquartered in North America, predominantly in the United States. ASTA values and promotes diversity of membership, in terms of company size, products and geographic area served. Each member company is given one vote, regardless of size.
ASTA is an organization formed and directed by its members as an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. This mission is supported by the association’s advocacy efforts regarding intellectual property rights, regulatory and phytosanitary reform, and regulatory harmonization worldwide in the seed sector.
To assure success of its mission, ASTA is guided by a comprehensive strategic plan that details the opportunities, objectives and necessary actions to meet the many challenges facing the seed industry now and in the future.
Be the leading voice on domestic policy issues impacting the seed industry. Implement a comprehensive government affairs program and regularly engage and communicate with ASTA members and stakeholders on federal, state and local issues. Determine action on active issues – identify where ASTA should lead, support or monitor.
Advocate for a domestic and international environment that facilitates the development and implementation of innovation in breeding of seed crops and in seed associated products.
Reinforce ASTA’s role as the authoritative voice and trusted resource for the U.S. seed industry. Maintain the association’s position as the go-to source on seed matters for ASTA members, member organizations, state and federal government leaders, commodity groups, and media; while continuing to build its brand with consumers, consumer influencers, students, educators, and other stakeholder groups along the ag and food value chain.
Intellectual Property Rights
Advance the use and respect of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection for the seed sector globally.
Improve the opportunities for ASTA member companies to do business in international markets.
ASTA Membership & Internal Matters
Maintain and grow strong plans for membership retention, engagement and recruitment; meetings structure and management; and human and financial resource management to ensure the key issues of membership are addressed through a sound association foundation.
Recognize the role of seed in sustainable agriculture as policies are developed in the public and private sectors at the local, national, and international levels.