ASTA Highlights Future Policy at #NAFB16

Kelly MarshallAg Group, ASTA, Audio, NAFB

ASTA 1st Vice Chair Tracy Tally and CEO Andy LaVigne

ASTA 1st Vice Chair Tracy Tally and CEO Andy LaVigne

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) CEO and First Vice Chair traveled to Kansas City, Missouri last week to take part in the National Association of Farm Broadcasting‘s Trade Talk event. Cindy Zimmerman spoke with them about the direction of the organization and the direction of the industry, especially in light of the recent Trump win.  A new administration is sure to mean a new direction, says Andy Lavigne, ASTA CEO.

“I think as you look at agriculture over all you’re going to see something of a reset with direction for the political appointees in the new administration. Whenever you have eight years of one administration you sort of get a direction with them and I think what people will start to do is fall back to science based policy, a direction that is based on the great work we have in our industry with respect to science- so how to continue that process? And from the seed industry, that’s all we’re asking for policy. Base it on science, base it on the information we know today,” Lavigne told Cindy.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was open to science-based decision, but Lavigne believes there is possibility for the next Secretary to move further in that direction. We’ll have plenty of chances to see; next year will bring the enforcement of the new labeling law, new policies will be put into place regarding breeding techniques, and decisions regarding the EPA will be coming down.

Listen to the full interview with Lavigne here:
[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Interview with Andy Lavigne, ASTA”]

First Vice Chair, Tracy Tally is concerned with what the future will bring for plant breeding techniques. It wasn’t that long ago that plant breeding was based on humans who went out to the field and selected plants based on what they could see and understand.

“Now we are having to start to define how much non-human input is allowed to help us select plants, and select for quality, quality of harvest, consistent harvest, weather affects, yields, to perhaps things we as humans can’t measure,” Tally explained. “And we have technology that’s coming on now to help us do that and to help us do it in a very timely fashion.”

Consumer understanding of plant breeding techniques is sure to shape the future of the industry, both abroad and at home. Hear more in the full interview here:
[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Interview with Tracy Tally, ASTA”]

View and download photos from the event here: NAFB Convention Photo Album

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