March 5-7 • The Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave., NW • Washington DC, 20036
RAFI, as part of the Seeds & Breeds for 21st Century Agriculture coalition, convened a summit to foster open-ended, peer-to-peer discussion among public plant breeders, federal policy makers, farmers and advocates. Invitees included research students and scientists from the U.S. land grant universities, who presented keynote papers, as well as USDA representatives and farmers from across the country. This was the summit’s third convening.
The purpose of the Summit, and key to this renaissance of resilience, included addressing the need for more public cultivars and breeds that are regionally adapted and readily accessible to both breeders and farmers, and that can remain in the public domain.
The Summit addressed the following issues:
- Creating longer, profitable and more diverse crop and livestock rotations that utilize and enhance a locally adapted biodiversity of seeds and breeds.
- Training and mentorship for the next generation of public plant and animal breeders.
- Strengthening our public germplasm collections that house a vast array of valuable genetic diversity.
- Achieving more options for farmer seed choices by strengthening the long-term U.S. public commitment to public cultivar development.
- Establishing a dedicated funding and research capacity through the USDA and other public agricultural agencies.
Key Findings & Recommendations
The Proceedings of the 2014 Summit on Seeds & Breeds for 21st Century Agriculture publication was published on October 31, 2014. The publication provides a compilation of the summit’s keynote papers, response papers, presentations and findings. It also provides a summary of the recommendations developed by participants during summit discussions, including short, medium and long-range recommendations and positive goals for reversing this crisis.
The 2014 Summit on Seeds and Breeds for 21st Century Agriculture was made possible by the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI) and financial supporters including Clif Bar Family Foundation, Organic Valley Family of Farms, Seed Matters and individual donors committed to addressing these important issues.