Who We Are

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 700 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.

To learn more about the seed industry throughout its many years and the roles ASTA played in the industry’s development, order a copy of the hardcover book, 125 Years of the American Seed Trade Association.

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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.

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Membership Profile

ASTA has about 730 member companies, including roughly 423 active members that are directly involved in seed production or distribution and research and development, 27 corresponding members that produce or distribute seed outside of North America, 57 affiliate members that are related associations and agencies, 23 reciprocal members and 200 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.

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Strategic Goals

ASTA is an organization formed and directed by its members as an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and free 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.

Intellectual Property Rights
Advance the use and respect of intellectual property rights protection for the seed industry globally.

Domestic Policy
Be a respected, leading voice on domestic policy issues impacting the seed industry.

State and Local Issues
Be recognized as an effective national resource to assist in resolving state and local seed trade issues.

International Programs
Improve opportunities for ASTA member companies to do business in international markets.

ASTA Communications
Establish ASTA as a key advocate for the US seed industry and as a high-value resource for its members.

ASTA Membership & Internal Matters
Constantly improve the internal operations of ASTA to more efficiently serve the ASTA membership, with continued emphasis on the importance of effective human and financial management systems.