We are a membership organization established in 2017 by the founders and former organizers of the Student Organic Seed Symposium (SOSS). The Symposium is an annual gathering of students and their mentors, focused on organic plant breeding and seed systems. After 6 years, the community incubated by the symposium was ready to fledge, to expand beyond academia, and become an association of professionals working at the intersection of research, policy, and practice to grow a strong organic seed system for a thriving agricultural future.
What does SOSP do?
The Society of Organic Seed Professionals (SOSP) envisions a vibrant community of students, academics, and seed sector stakeholders. The Society works to build and maintain the professional and personal relationships of members and encourages students to play an active role in the organic seed movement. Through scientific engagement of the broader seed community, SOSP looks to advance organic plant breeding and seed systems research. The overarching goal of The Society is to ensure a robust future for organic agriculture.
SOSP, the Society of Organic Seed Professionals, is a membership organization of researchers and practitioners committed to the advancement of organic seed systems. We envision an equitable, innovative agricultural future in which organic farmers have reliable access to high-quality seed of varieties adapted to organic production.
SOSP fosters learning and collaboration among the diverse people working in organic seed systems, within and beyond the United States. Knowing that ideas germinate and grow at the intersection of relationships and concepts, we create space for formal research sharing, unstructured networking, and camaraderie. SOSP invites scientists, educators, farmers, entrepreneurs, policy advocates, seed company professionals, and students to gather, share their work, and generate interpersonal connections that amplify each individual’s passion and expertise.
As a membership organization, SOSP does not conduct its own research or breeding projects, nor does it advocate for political candidates or provide general farmer education. It supports a vibrant organic seed trade, but it is not a seed company. SOSP creates opportunities to discuss empirical, ethical, and cultural perspectives on seed in a setting that combines scientific rigor with passion for ecological agriculture.
SOSP values diversity, interdependence, and regeneration in the SOSP leadership. We are responsible to one another and to the SOSP membership; we value competent performance and clear, compassionate communication. We seek leaders with varied backgrounds and fresh ideas, and we intentionally develop leaders who embody the values of the organization. We limit the scope of SOSP’s work such that leaders’ time commitments are reasonable, and we design policies to ensure transparency among leaders and between leaders and members.