Webinar Series: Practical Training for On-Farm and Collaborative Plant Breeding

We presented a series of six webinars in January and February 2023 on organic plant breeding for independent plant breeders, farmers interested in selection, regional seed companies and plant breeding students. The webinars were led by the Organic Seed Alliance, eOrganic and collaborators on a NIFA OREI funded project on collaborative plant breeding project in the Upper Midwest. Although the content will be targeted to the Upper Midwest, much of the material will be relevant to other regions as well. Participants will benefit from online interaction with independent breeders, seed company breeders and farmer breeders from around the U.S. Webinars will be interactive and accompanied by an online resources section. All presentations will take place at 11AM Pacific, 12 Mountain, 1 Central and 2 Eastern Time. Registering just once will allow you to attend all the webinars in the series!

  • January 10, 2023: Goal Setting and Breeding Project Design. This webinar will explore the early stages of developing a breeding project, identifying the market need for certain traits, articulating clear goals, and designing the project to efficiently achieve the goals. We will cover how to set up organizational systems and use tools such as SeedLinked to streamline data collection. Participants will also learn how to connect with on-farm trial sites and partners.
    Presenters: Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin Madison; Keith Mueller, KC Tomato; Erica Kempter, Nature & Nurture Seeds; Nico Enjalbert, SeedLinked; Jenn Cava, University of Wisconsin; Moderator: Michael Lordon, Organic Seed Allience.

Slides from the webinar

Additional Resources:

  • Organic Seed Alliance Plant Breeding Publications: https://seedalliance.org/all-publications/?fwp_publication_topic=plant-breeding
  • Organic Seed Commons: https://www.organicseedcommons.org/
  • Organic Plant Breeding Resource collection from NOVIC project: https://eorganic.info/node/7609
  • Plant Breeding for Organic Systems Article: https://eorganic.org/node/741
  • January 17, 2023: Selecting High-quality Breeding Material. This webinar will include how to vet and access breeding material from a variety of sources, and how to define criteria for selecting parents. Specific topics will include using the National Plant Germplasm System and international genebanks, accessing germplasm from other breeding programs, how to write and negotiate Material Transfer Agreements, and best practices for intellectual property protection. Presenters: Michael Mazourek, Cornell University, Emily Rose Haga, Julie Dawson, UW-Madison, Rue Genger, UW-Madison, Paulina Jenney, UMadison, Michael Lordon, Organic Seed Alliance.

Slides from the webinar

Additional resources

Slides from this webinar

Additional Resources from this webinar:

Slides from the webinar

Additional resources from the webinar:

  • February 7, 2023: Scaling up Seed Production. This webinar will include how to create an enterprise budget for seed production at different scales, including how to do a cost/benefit analysis for producing seed in-house and selling retail, selling wholesale to larger companies, or licensing a variety and letting a third party handle seed production. It will cover how much stock seed to produce for seed company partners to trial, how to maintain breeder and stock seed, how to contract seed production including example contract terms, how to find organic seed production partners and how to conduct quality control for seed produced under contract. Presenters: Tessa Peters, The Land Institute, Erica Kempter, Nature & Nurture Seeds Julie Dawson, UW-Madison, Michael Lordon, Organic Seed Alliance.

Slides from the webinar

Additional Resources

•Seed Economics Intensive Part 1: Inventory Management https://youtu.be/UAGhpdY2yos
•Seed Economics Intensive Part 4: Enterprise Budgets
•Organic Seed Production Webinar Part 6: Seed Contracting and Economics: https://youtu.be/XUD-m9N4M3Q
•Seed Contracting Webinar and Forum for Midwest Growers: https://youtu.be/8H8GYuUniyY
•Scaling Up Vegetable Seed Production with Steve Peters: https://youtu.be/_TOWOejTdSM
https://www.organicseedcommons.org/ Organic Seed Commons
https://www.eorganic.info/collaborativebreeding Collaborative Breeding Network Website
  • February 14, 2023: Data Management and Analysis. Specific topics will be determined based on the interests of the Midwest regional seed network on the Organic Seed Commons. They will likely include tracking pedigrees, managing crossing blocks, early generation nursery data management, understanding genotype by environment interactions in multi-locational trials, and how to get the most out of the data analysis tools provided through SeedLinked, and resources for more advanced analysis. Presenters: Nico Enjalbert, Seedlinked;
    Keith Mueller, KC Tomatoes; Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance; Ambar Carvallo, UW-Madison; Michael Lordon, Organic Seed Alliance.


Published December 5, 2022

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.