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The protection of intellectual property is critical to the innovation of any industry and sound, transparent intellectual property rights (IPR) polices promote research to bring new and improved innovation. This philosophy is just as true in the seed industry.
However, we find today that the seed industry is facing a critical challenge as seed companies invest billions of dollars each year in new research and technologies to help growers improve their crop yields, quality and profitability and help make them better environmental stewards. Although IPR provides an environment that encourages this investment, few growers are aware of the broad range of benefits they receive from this protection. Additionally, inconsistent international trade and intellectual property policies create an uneven playing field for both seed companies and our grower customers.
To help the U.S. seed industry address this challenge and encourage support for the protection of intellectual property that supports investment in seed innovation, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has created the “Beyond the Seed” education program. It is designed to reach growers, grower influencers, as well as policymakers, whose support for seed IPR is vital. ASTA staff and program ambassadors will take the “Beyond the Seed” message to this wide range of audiences through speeches, meetings and media.
You can help. I encourage every ASTA member company and interested stakeholder to join the “Beyond the Seed” outreach effort. We have made it easy, with simple online resources and published materials to help you put this program to work to bring better understanding and a more informed dialogue on the protection of intellectual property, investment in seed innovation and benefits to growers and beyond.
Thank you for your support!
Andrew W. LaVigne
ASTA President and CEO