People

There are many people that contribute to the OSSI network. Meet our Board of Directors and Variety Contributors:

Board of Directors

Alejandro Argumedo

Program Director, Asociacion ANDES

Alejandro Argumedo is Program Director of Asociacion ANDES, a Cusco-based indigenous peoples’ non-governmental organization working to protect and develop indigenous peoples’ Biocultural Heritage. Alejandro is a native Quechua founder and coordinator of the International Mountain Indigenous Peoples Network. He is also a founding member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Biodiversity Network (IPBN) and the Call of the Earth Group, global coalitions of indigenous peoples working towards the shared goals of protecting and nurturing biodiverse food systems and protecting their bio-cultural innovations and intellectual property. He is the current President of the Global Coalition for Biocultural Diversity of the International Society of Ethnobiology, former Executive Director of Cultural Survival Canada and the Indigenous Knowledge Program. He graduated from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in Agriculture. Alejandro has written extensively on diverse themes such as genetic resources and community-led conservation, indigenous agriculture, climate change, biocultural landscapes, has served in expert panels of the UN and other relevant bodies, and has been consultant for various international institutions.

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Jahi Chappell

Director of Agroecology and Agriculture Policy, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Jahi Chappell is trained as an agroecologist and political ecologist. As Director of Agroecology and Agriculture Policy at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, he leads IATP in analyzing, coordinating, and developing actions and policies to create a sustainable, decentralized, and deeply democratic food and agriculture system. Before coming to IATP, he was an interdisciplinary scientist and assistant professor of environmental science and justice at Washington State University. He has worked with and consulted for groups like Via Campesina, the Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security of Belo Horizonte (Brazil), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the urban agriculture nonprofits Growing Hope (Ypsilanti, Mich.) and Growing Gardens (Portland, Ore.). He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and conducted postdoctoral research at Cornell University. He served as Chair of the Agroecology Section of the Ecological Society of America from 2012–14.

Irwin with badger flame beet in vermontIrwin Goldman

Professor, Vegetable Breeder, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Irwin Goldman is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on vegetable breeding and genetics (carrot, onion, and table beet) with an emphasis on plant secondary metabolites that have some potential value for human health and wellbeing. He has also bred numerous cultivars and inbred lines that have been used to make commercial hybrids. These are grown by farmers throughout the world. A portion of the germplasm from his program is licensed through WARF and returns royalties to the breeding program. His program currently has over 75 active germplasm licenses. Irwin teaches five courses at UW-Madison, including world vegetable crops, principles of plant breeding, techniques of plant breeding, evolutionary biology, and plants and human well being. He is currently serving as department chair and works with both graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of research and outreach projects.

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Jack Kloppenburg

Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jack Kloppenburg is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has studied the social impacts of biotechnology, the controversy over control of genetic resources, and the prospects for framing food sheds as an analytical basis for developing sustainable food systems. He is the author of First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000 (Cambridge University Press). He is currently jazzed by the potential of food sovereignty and by the possible application of open source principles to plant breeding. He is a founder of the Open Source Seed Initiative.

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Claire Luby

Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Claire Luby is a PhD student in the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research examines the effect of intellectual property rights on access to and sharing of plant diversity using carrot as a model crop. This work aims to characterize the diversity present in commercially available varieties, along with the intellectual property rights that govern their exchange. Using carrot varieties that were not protected by intellectual property rights, she has developed a number of carrot populations that encompass the ‘available diversity’ present among these varieties. These populations will be released through OSSI.

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Tom Michaels

Professor, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Tom is a faculty member in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. His current research activities focus on the genetic diversity of heirloom dry beans and breeding new dry bean cultivars for organic production systems. His urban outreach activities highlight a unique piece of outdoor furniture he recently designed called the Hydroponic Salad Table. This compact structure offers city dwellers a convenient and highly productive system for growing salad greens on an outdoor balcony. He is currently selecting new and diverse salad green cultivars specifically for use in the Hydroponic Salad Table. Tom teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses each year on subjects ranging from plant science to edible landscapes and conducts pedagogical research on the use of augmented reality in experiential learning. He is thrilled that his earlier concept of General Public License for Plant Germplasm has been incorporated into the broader mission of the Open Source Seed Initiative

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Jonathan Spero

Plant Breeder, Lupine Knoll Farm

Jonathan and Jessie Spero started Lupine Knoll Farm in 2001 with the purpose of improving vegetable varieties and offering for sale open pollinated organic vegetable seeds. Lupine Knoll Farm consists of three small fields totaling about 6 acres located in the Applegate Valley of SW Oregon. New cultivars of open pollinated sweet corn are in the works, the first of which “Top Hat” will be released soon, with Tuxana, Ana Lee and Festivity to follow. Jonathan also selected Solstice broccoli from mixed stock provided by Oregon State University in 2002 as a part of the Farmers Cooperative Genome Project. He selected Siber Frill kale from mixed stock provided by Peters Seed and Research, and selected Emerald Fan lettuce from mixed stock provided by Wild Garden Seeds. Jonathan is a part of the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative and sells lettuce, kale, squash, tomato and other seeds to several small seed companies.

 

Variety Contributors

Many thanks to our OSSI plant breeders for pledging their varieties to remain freed!

If you are interested in designating a variety OSSI, see our ‘Contribute a Variety’ page.

Carol Deppe, Fertile Valley Seeds

Oregon plant breeder Carol Deppe holds a PhD in biology from Harvard University and specializes in developing public-domain crops for organic growing conditions, sustainable agriculture, and human survival for the next thousand years. She is author of Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s and Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving (2nd ed.) (Chelsea Green, 2000), The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times (Including the Five Crops You Need To Survive and Thrive—Potatoes, Corn, Beans, Squash, and Eggs) (Chelsea Green, 2010), and The Tao of Vegetable Gardening: Cultivating Tomatoes, Greens, Peas, Beans, Squash, Joy, and Serenity (Chelsea Green, Jan. 2015). Carol is founder and owner of Fertile Valley Seeds, which distributes the varieties she has bred along with selected others. For seed variety descriptions and ordering information see the Fertile Valley Seeds seed list at www.caroldeppe.com. Varieties Carol has bred and released include: Flint Corns: ‘Cascade Ruby-Gold’ and ‘Cascade Creamcap’; Flour Corns: ‘Magic Manna’, ‘Pancake White Manna’, and ‘Brown Gravy Manna’; Winter Squash: ‘Sweet Meat—Oregon Homestead’ and ‘Candystick Dessert Delicata’; and Dry Beans: ‘White Candle Gaucho’, ‘Beefy Resilient Grex’, ‘Hannan Popbean’ (garbanzo), and ‘Fast Lady Northern Southern Pea’ (cowpea). ‘Cascade Ruby-Gold’ and ‘Cascade Creamcap’ flint corns have extended the range northward for corn as a practical homestead crop and produce reliable on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in Ireland, and in Sweden. For photos of some of these varieties see https://www.flickr.com/photos/caroldeppe/sets/.

Irwin Goldman, University of Wisconsin-Madison ossi breeder irwin goldman university of wisconsin carrots

Irwin Goldman is a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on vegetable breeding and genetics (carrot, onion, and table beet) with an emphasis on plant secondary metabolites that have some potential value for human health and wellbeing. He has also bred numerous cultivars and inbred lines that have been used to make commercial hybrids. These are grown by farmers throughout the world. A portion of the germplasm from his program is licensed through WARF and returns royalties to the breeding program. His program currently has over 75 active germplasm licenses. Irwin teaches five courses at UW-Madison, including world vegetable crops, principles of plant breeding, techniques of plant breeding, evolutionary biology, and plants and human well being. He is currently serving as department chair and works with both graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of research and outreach projects.

Pat Hayes, Oregon State University PatrickHayes-Fullpint

Dr. Patrick Hayes is a Professor at Oregon State University. His research focuses on barley – in its many forms and uses. His current research interests include: development of winter habit barley varieties for malting and human nutrition; the many facets of winter hardiness; dissection of quantitative disease resistance; characterization and utilization of genetic diversity; stimulating local barley production; and barley quality assessment. He has generated a fair bit of “stuff” over the years: he has released nine varieties, distributed approximately 11 MT of germplasm, published 132 papers in refereed journals, and authored 12 book chapters. Each year he teaches Introductory Plant Genetics to approximately 50 students. Most of them start the class with fear and loathing but most graduate with a keen appreciation for the complexity and power of genetics. He has served as Major Professor for 28 graduate students and five undergraduate thesis students.

High Mowing Organic Seed Company Really big HMS logo

 

 

 

Steve Jones, Washington State University SteveJones

Stephen Jones is a wheat breeder and the Director of the Washington State University – Mount Vernon Research Center. Stephen has a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and teaches graduate courses in advanced classical genetics and in the history and ethics of genetics. His first wheat crop was on five acres at Chico State University’s student farm in 1977. Together with his graduate students he breeds wheat and other grains for local uses to be grown on small farms in the coastal west and the upper Northeast. He also runs the Bread Lab, a combination think tank/baking laboratory where they experiment with improved flavor, nutrition and functionality of regional and obscure wheats.

Frank Morton, Gathering Together Farm and Wild Garden Seed ossi breeder frank morton wild garden seed 2

 

 

 

 

Kevin Murphy,  Washington State University ???????????????????????????????

Kevin Murphy is an assistant professor and the barley and alternative crop breeder in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University. In addition to developing new food, feed and malting barley varieties, with an emphasis on breeding barley for higher nutritional value and added health benefits, Kevin has active breeding projects focused on quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and spelt. Kevin recently released a new barley variety, ‘Muir’, which was developed in part to meet the needs of low-input, organic farmers. Kevin has been breeding spelt in organic conditions since 2004, and the two open source hulless winter spelt varieties recently released through OSSI, ‘Elwah’ and ‘White Salmon’ are optimally adapted to low-input, rainfed farming systems.

Mark Sorrells, Cornell University MePhoto634_03_8

Mark E. Sorrells received his PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1978 and then joined the faculty at Cornell University in the Department of Plant Breeding & Biometry. Since 1991 he has been Professor of Plant Breeding and from 2006 to 2014 he was Chair of the Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics. The primary focus of Dr. Sorrells’ research program is on breeding methodologies and the development of small grains varieties. His breeding program has released 16 small grains varieties. Currently the focus of his research is optimizing genomic selection strategies. He has published 260 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Crop Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy. Dr. Sorrells has served as major advisor to 37 PhD students, 9 M.S. graduate students and minor advisor to 22 students.

Jonathan Spero, Lupine Knoll Farm me247

Jonathan and Jessie Spero started Lupine Knoll Farm in 2001 with the purpose of improving vegetable varieties and offering for sale open pollinated organic vegetable seeds. Lupine Knoll Farm consists of three small fields totaling about 6 acres located in the Applegate Valley of SW Oregon. New cultivars of open pollinated sweet corn are in the works, the first of which “Top Hat” will be released soon, with Tuxana, Ana Lee and Festivity to follow. Jonathan also selected Solstice broccoli from mixed stock provided by Oregon State University in 2002 as a part of the Farmers Cooperative Genome Project. He selected Siber Frill kale from mixed stock provided by Peters Seed and Research, and selected Emerald Fan lettuce from mixed stock provided by Wild Garden Seeds. Jonathan is a part of the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative and sells lettuce, kale, squash, tomato and other seeds to several small seed companies.

Bill Whitson, Cultivariable cv-bw-pic

Bill Whitson is the owner of Cultivariable, a small mail-order nursery with the goal of preserving and breeding minor vegetable crops in order to introduce them to wider cultivation in North America.  We specialize in Andean roots and tubers, such as ulluco, oca, and mashua, but also work with many other unusual crops that have fallen out of favor or never achieved it.  Our seed plots are located on the fringe of the coastal rainforest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Cultivariable has introduced two new varieties of oca (Oxalis tuberosa) and has produced improved varieties of several other crops that are undergoing trials for possible release in 2015 and 2016.  We intend to release all new varieties under open source terms.

OSSI engages artists to help spread the word through visual and networked media. OSSI artists include:

Meg Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jojin VanWinkle

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