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American Seed Trade Association Convention
President Morse appointed as a transportation committee for the June convention at San Francisco S.F. Leonard, E.L. Page, W.S. Woodruff, Frank Leckenby and Henry B. Fish. The committee has arranged with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe for a special train from Chicago to run on the following schedule:

June 12—Leave Chicago 8:05 p.m.
June 13—Arrive Kansas City 8:45 a.m.
June 13—Leave Kansas City 9:00 a.m.
June 14—Arrive Albuquerque 11:00 a.m.
June 14—Leave Albuquerque 11:30 a.m.
June 15—Arrive Gr. Canyon 6:00 a.m.
June 15—Leave Gr. Canyon 7:40 p.m.
June 16—Arrive Redlands, Cal 1:00 p.m.
June 16—Leave Redlands, Cal 3:00 p.m.
June 16—Arrive Riverside 4:00 p.m.
June 16—Leave Riverside 11:00 p.m.
June 17—Arrive San Diego 7:00 a.m.
June 17—Leave San Diego 11:59 p.m.
June 18—Arrive Los Angeles 7:00 a.m.
June 18—Leave Los Angeles 11:30 p.m.
June 19—Arrive Lompoc 8:00 a.m.
June 19—Leave Lompoc 11:30 p.m.
June 19—Arrive Oceano 1:00 p.m.
June 19—Leave Oceano 10:00 p.m.
June 20—Arrive San Francisco 8:00 a.m.

For the train 125 tickets are required. The equipment will be a duplication of the Santa Fe California Limited: Observation Pullman, compartment and drawing rooms, as well as open sleepers, diner on the Santa Fe lines for the trip, library club car. The railway fares are as follows, going via one direct line, or as per itinerary and returning any other direct line. The return via Portland will be $17.50 additional. The side trip to the Grand Canyon and return is $7.50 additional.

Chicago to San Francisco and return $62.50
New York (Standard Lines) 98.80
New York (Differential Lines) 94.30
Boston (Standard Lines) 103.70
Boston (Differential Lines) 97.70
Philadelphia (Standard Lines) 95.20
Philadelphia (Differential Lines) 92.95

… General headquarters arranged by the agreement with the “Inside Inn” on the exposition grounds.

Sunday, June 20—Rest and sightseeing.
Monday afternoon, June 21—Guests of local seedsmen, auto trip about city.
Monday evening, 8 to 10—Reception at residence of the president, 10 minutes’ walk from Inside Inn.
Tuesday, June 22—Morning sessions of convention.
Wednesday, June 23—Morning sessions of convention.
Annual banquet Wednesday evening, June 23, rooms of S.F. Commercial Club, downtown.
Thursday, June 24—Morning sessions of convention.
The sessions of the convention will held in the parlor of the Inside Inn, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday, June 25—Leave San Francisco 7:45 a.m., arrive Gilroy 9:50 a.m., balance of day to be spent in auto trip to local seed ranches, with barbeque in front of old San Juan mission. Barbecue furnished by local seed growers, with Mr. Waldo Rohnert in charge.
Auto trip back to San Jose to spend Friday night at Hotel Vendome. Those who prefer may take evening train from Gilroy to Hotel Del Monte.
Saturday, June 26, forenoon—Visit local seed ranches in Santa Clara valley.
Afternoon—Return to San Francisco and disperse.

All matters relating to the trip to the coast should be taken up with S.F. Leonard, chairman Transportation committee.

Very interesting and instructive programs for the convention are now being arranged and will be announced by Secretary C.E. Kendal early in May.

1940

A.S.T.A. Convention in Chicago an Outstanding Success and Attendance Record Breaker
Not only was the fifty-eighth annual convention of the American Seed Trade Association held at the Palmer House in Chicago on June 24, 25, 26 and 27 the largest in [terms] of attendance in the history of the organization, but if the opinions of “old timer” seedsmen who practically never miss a convention can be used as a barometer, then it can be truthfully said of this convention that it was the most successful one ever staged.

The Grand Ballroom of the Palmer House provided a delightfully comfortable setting for the occasion. President Roy A. Edwards called the meeting to order at eleven o’clock. … Following the invocation, Mr. Edwards presented his address as president, which is published elsewhere in this issue in its entirety.

If there is one accomplishment that stands out in the record of the past year, it is the mutual understanding of our problems that has been created between the officials of the Department of Agriculture and the representatives of our industry.

Reviewing the program of the convention, Mr. Edwards touched on the Federal Seed Act, and said: “We are confident that the entire membership of this association is [behind] the enforcement of the law and will lend their fullest cooperation to the policing of the unscrupulous dealer and the itinerant trucker. On behalf of the association, I want to express our appreciation to the Department of Agriculture, to Secretary Wallace, to Mr. C.W. Kitchen, chief, and his assistants, for their patient and understanding cooperation in the working out of this valuable legislation. If there is one accomplishment that stands out in the record of the past year, it is the mutual understanding of our problems that has been created between the officials of the Department of Agriculture and the representatives of our industry.”

Mr. Edwards also spoke briefly on the matter of the proposed uniform state seed law and stressed the desirability of uniform state and federal legislation and administration. He urged the state associations and seed councils to meet with the law enforcement officials of several states and prepare the groundwork for the new uniform state seed bill.

1959

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A young lady of Amager, Denmark, wearing her national costume and holding a bunch of A Hansen’s (also of Amager) 100% double stocks which they have found very popular, and especially so in England.

1965

The Old Order Changes
The American Seed Trade Association convention in Minneapolis marked the culmination of the period in its history in which this Association developed from a membership-operated group into a well organized and highly efficient and effective trade association with two full-time executives and an office staff.

Edwards urged the state associations and seed councils to meet with the law enforcement officials of several states and prepare the groundwork for the new uniform state seed bill.

The start in this direction was made in 1941 with the appointment of Jim Young as Executive Secretary, the first time the American Seed Trade Association had had a full-time paid secretary and an office of its own. Bill Heckendorn built upon the foundations Jim Young had laid when he became Executive Secretary and has made the American Seed Trade Association into a top rank organization whose officers, committees and members are kept informed through the secretary’s office upon all matters affecting or which might affect the seed industry, and officers, committee chairmen and members representing the Association appearing in Washington or other cities when hearing or matters important to the seed industry are held.

Last year, the American Seed Trade Association was reorganized to provide for two full-time paid officers [Executive Vice President and Executive Secretary]. … Under the reorganization plan five Regional Vice Presidents, each representing a different area of the country, were added to the three elected A.S.T.A. officers (the President, 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President), with a view o
f bringing about closer cooperation between the A.S.T.A. and regional and state associations.

So far as those of us on the sidelines can determine, the new set-up seemed to function perfectly and the process of reorganization is about completed. Bill Heckendorn has now retired, and John Sutherland has been named the new Executive Vice President of A.S.T.A. An Executive Secretary to take John’s place is still to be appointed. When this position is filled, the American Seed Trade Association will be in the best position it has ever been to represent and serve as spokesman for the seed industry of this country at home and abroad and to take whatever steps are needed to protect and promote the best interests of members of the industry.

1981

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The July 1981 issue of Seed World features Royal Sluis’ G1030 Brussel Sprouts, CRATON F1 Hybrid.

1990

Editorial: Convention Tradition
This year marks the 107th anniversary of the American Seed Trade Association’s annual convention, as it is held in Orlando, Florida, June 25-29. As part of our monthly look back at 1915 (SEED WORLD’s year of establishment), we read that the 33rd annual ASTA meeting was held in San Francisco with about one hundred attendees. Lester L. Morse, president of C.C. Morse & Co. (now Ferry-Morse), was ASTA president. Interestingly, President Woodrow Wilson was invited to attend but sent his regrets, “Sorry I cannot be with you this evening, but am too busy sowing the seeds of peace. Let us all hope the seed grows.”

Much business was conducted at this convention. One committee reported its work toward promoting crop improvement throughout the U.S. Today, there are crop improvement associations in almost every state, and they have been instrumental in testing and certifying seed for high quality. In 1915, ASTA President Morse spoke out on the importance of the disclaimer for vegetable seed growers and dealers. “We must contest all efforts to nullify it,” he said, noting that market gardeners and large planters must realize certain risks in planting seeds—such as planting seed that is very similar in appearance. “The terrible results in loss of business in the event of error are sufficient punishment to compel the utmost care and vigilance on the part of the seedsman,” he noted. Today, the ASTA offers errors and omissions insurance to its members. …

… Over the last century (and seven years), the ASTA has worked to help its members, whether it be representing them in Washington or in state legislatures, helping them in international markets, or working out complex issues critical to the future of the industry. This year’s convention, like those before it, will address issues of historical significance—one of those issues could very well be the seed industry’s role in the environment’s future.