“The seed industry is an exciting, dynamic, high tech industry,” said Foundation chairman Bud Hughes of Verdant Partners during an update at CSS 2014 and Seed Expo last week. “We want people to see that whether their interest is marketing and communications, or computer skills, or back to being a biologist or a plant breeder, that there are many different careers available in this industry.”
Hughes says they have taken on several major initiatives over the past six years, with funding by industry participants. “We’ve put together a product we call ‘Grow’ which is a career kit aimed at high school students,” said Hughes, adding that the program has already reached an estimated 500,000 students.
Another project they call “TomatoSphere” which was originally developed in Canada and is aimed at elementary and middle school students. “TomatoSphere takes tomato seeds as an example of a biology project and puts them into the classroom,” he said.
The Foundation has just developed a seed specific school curriculum for teachers, called “Planting the Seed,” based on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) system. And they also have a Seed Ambassadors program which encourages industry professionals to be spokespersons at their local schools.
Hughes says FTSF has grown to the point now where they have hired their first full-time administrator, Jim Reynolds, who is a former educator, coach and high school principal.
Learn more about FTSF from their website and in this update from Hughes at CSS.
Bud Hughes, First the Seed Foundation chairman