June 28, 2005
A Conference to Reinvigorate Public Breeding of Seeds and Animals for a Healthy 21st Century Agriculture
Friends and Colleagues,
Please accept this as your official invitation to this strategic conference about shaping a dynamic future for a farmer and consumer-oriented public plant and animal breeding agenda for the 21st century.
Total conference participation is limited to meet the participatory nature of this event, so we strongly encourage you to sign-up by July 15. Please go to the following website http://www.agron.iastate.edu/seedsandbreeds/ for registration and logistic details. See the conference agenda and make special note of the optional pre-conference field day tour being offered.
The purpose of the Seeds and Breeds Conference 2005 will be to continue the discussion and coalition building to reinvigorate public plant and animal breeding that began with the 2003 Seeds and Breeds Forum held in Washington DC (a written record of the proceedings is available for review at
http://www.rafiusa.org/pubs/ (listed as Seeds and Breeds PDF). We believe that plant and animal breeding are technologies that harness the creative power of selection. The results of this selection process are powerful, precise and predictable. While breeding has produced clear public benefits, the continuation of this discipline is by no means assured. The paradigm for crop and animal improvement has shifted from breeding (selection) to engineering. The importance of plant and animal breeding needs to be reestablished and the intellectual basis of breeding must be reinvigorated. This gathering will create a forum for discussion, analysis and planning to progress towards shifting the current paradigm.
Unlike the 2003 Forum, this gathering will be structured as a conference with multiple sessions to dig deeper into the very practical challenges and opportunities we face in building a public plant and animal breeding agenda to meet the needs of farmers and consumers for the 21st century.
This conference will allow participants to learn very practical and hands-on information about exciting on-the-ground farmer participatory breeding initiatives that are working from both the US and Europe. We will also identify the resources, infrastructure and delivery systems necessary to reinvigorate public plant and animal breeding to meet the challenges of a more healthy and sustainable agriculture. Sessions will also include topics on federally funded programs, and coalition building to affect change in existing programs, with a special focus on the upcoming-2008 Farm Bill.
The conference will ideally result in a larger community of engaged farmers, breeders, public interest and policy specialists to affect change; as well as create new breeding programs and to learn how to expand and participate in existing programs. A limited amount of space will be available at the Conference to exhibit posters that display information about programs or projects. Please contact Marcia Minear at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve space. Conference registration can be found at the website listed above.
Please sign-up today. We look forward to your participation in this critical event.