American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) president and CEO Andy LaVigne is pleased with the turnout of industry members at the 132nd annual meeting in Washington DC this week and with the reception they have received on Capitol Hill.
In his opening session welcome, LaVigne said he was especially thrilled to have Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack address the meeting despite his very busy schedule. “We heard back from his staff that he had a lunch and had to be at the White House and we can’t fit him in,” said LaVigne. “And he said no, I need to talk to these guys…he knew he only had 30 minutes but that’s what it means to him to talk to us.”
LaVigne says Vilsack recognizes the diversity of the seed industry. “We have organic producers, conventional producers and biotech producers, but we’re truly the foundation of agriculture,” he said.
LaVigne was also pleased with the record turnout for the “Storm the Hill” visits. “We had 127 people sign up, we had 129 visits in the House and the Senate,” he said. “That’s roughly a third of our representatives and senators … that’s fantastic!”
In his address to the membership, LaVigne also talked about priorities for the industry and how their communications strategy is moving forward. ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne