Seed Industry Launches Political Action Committee (PAC)

Pollinator health. Uniform food labels. Intellectual property rights.

All of these are important issues to the seed industry, but they’re only a sampling of the federal bills under consideration.

“Federal legislation greatly impacts our businesses and those of our dealers and customers. It’s necessary for the seed industry to become more present on Capitol Hill, and that’s why we are so excited about the SeedFirstPAC,” says John Latham, Chair of SeedFirstPAC, Vice President of the North Central Region of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.

SeedFirstPAC, a political action committee guided by a board of seed industry leaders, was officially launched earlier this month during the 2015 summer annual ASTA convention in Washington, D.C. It is a voluntary committee that will support candidates that value the contribution of seed to the health and well-being of society.

“The industry has more and more cross-cutting issues to deal with and they span the whole gamut — new breeding techniques, import/export issues and phytosanitary requirements,” said John Schoenecker, immediate past ASTA chairman and SeedFirstPAC board member, in a SeedWorld article. “The PAC is another tool in the seed industry’s toolbox that will help us to be more effective in our lobbying efforts and have more of an impact.”

Contributions are completely voluntary, adds Latham, and we hope everyone related to the seed industry will make a personal donation. The PAC can accept donations from all U.S. citizens and those who hold green cards.

Click here to download a contribution form. Personal checks may be made payable to the SeedFirstPAC and mailed to:


300 Independence Ave. SE

Washington, DC 20003

Follow the group’s efforts on Twitter at @SeedFirstPAC. For more information about SeedFirstPAC, email, or contact John Latham.


The Latham family was among 125 seed industry advocates, who on June 17-18 traveled to Capitol Hill, visited with federal officials about issues including pollinator health and GMO labeling. Also that week, John Latham helped launch the SeedFirstPAC.