It is hard to believe we are already in December. The Board has been working on a number of items and attending meetings to further our industry. The Executive Committee has been meeting with the Oregon Department of Agriculture almost every month to keep up on any new developments that will affect the seed industry.

In October, several Board members met with Oregon Seed Certification and OSU Seed Lab. It was a good meeting. Discussion topics included the status of interviews for a new department head, scholarship opportunities targeted directly to OSU Seed Certification students, and what has been happening at the seed lab update.

For years, the Board has been conducting these meetings in an effort to engage with and develop open lines of communication with others in the industry and will continue to do so. Please let us know if you have any comments or concerns that we can bring up at these meetings.

Several months ago, ODA requested members of the industry to join a Rules Advisory Committee to discuss increasing the penalties for seed rule violations. The first meeting has been scheduled for December. Members from OSA include Phill Lindgren of Grassland Oregon, and Scott Harer of Columbia Seeds.

In November, there was a meeting in Tacoma discussing the end of the compliance agreements that several OSA members have with the ports of Tacoma and Seattle. We presented a lot of information to the officials at the meeting; unfortunately, the APHIS official we needed to convince to keep this program was pulled away at the last minute and was not able to attend. The information we presented will be sent to Andrea Huberty, Director of the Imports, Regulations, and Manuals APHIS. In attendance for Customs & Border Protection was Mary Baswell, Trade Supervisor/Agriculture Operations Manager Seattle Field Office Seattle, and John Sagle, Director Agriculture of Customs & Border Protection, Washington DC.

Two member companies agreed to have some containers cleared in Tacoma/Seattle to see what improvements are needed and can be made on the speed of clearance.

We will keep working on this issue and let you know of any updates as they are available.