Clif Bar Family Foundation awarded the first fellowships in organic plant
breeding ever granted in the United States. Funded through its organic seed ini-
tiative known as Seed
Matters, the foundation
issued $375,000 in grants
to fund three Ph.D. fel-
lowship students for five
years in organic plant
breeding at two public
In addition to provid-
ing organic farmers with
new varieties of seed adapted to organic systems, these fellowships will cultivate
the next generation of thought leadership in organic research, education and en-
trepreneurship. “Organic seed systems are the foundation for healthy, resilient
farming and food systems,” said Matthew Dillon, cultivator of Seed Matters. “Seed
is a farmer’s first line of defense against pests and global climate disruption, and
has a huge impact on the nutrition and overall quality of the food we eat.”
The first recipient of a Seed Matters Fellowship, Brook Brouwer, began his
studies last month at the Washington State University Mount Vernon Campus.
The two other recipients will begin in the fall semester at University of Wisconsin–
Madison, and Washington State University Pullman. Fellowship students will work
under the guidance of some of the most well respected and early innovators of or-
ganic plant breeding, including Dr. Stephen Jones at Washington State University,
whose work with wheat engages farmers, millers and bakers in restoring their local
grain economies; Dr. Kevin Murphy, also at Washington State University, who is
breeding cover crops and heritage grains such as quinoa and spelt; and Dr.
William Tracy at University of Wisconsin–Madison, whose sweet corn breeding is
improving the quality of genetics available to organic farmers in cooler climates.
New Seed Supporters. The foundation also announced that Earthbound Farm
Organic, Organically Grown Company, Organic Valley, Vitalis Seed and Whole
Foods Market have joined Seed Matters as financial collaborators to help increase
awareness about organic seed and fund future fellowships and research around
the country. For more information, visit www.seedmatters.org.
Clif Bar’s Seed Matters Initiative Grants Nation’s
First Organic Plant Breeding Fellowships
Eco-Fashion Leader Indigenous
Launches Garment Origin
Indigenous Designs’ new Fair Trace
Tool, a mobile-enabled web technology,
enables shoppers to see where garments
originate and how fibers were grown,
meet the artisans who hand-make them
and learn about Indigenous’ positive social impact. Indigenous will
its 2012 line
with a Quick
on every hang-tag that connects to the
via any smart-phone.
Trace Tool offers a brand
profiles, an origins map and social impact
data, including results of artisan workforce surveys.
Once the tool debuts on the new Indigenous 2012 line, indigenous hopes to
share the Fair Trace Tool via license agreement with other socially conscious
brands through a development and cus-tomization partnership with its agency
partner, Worldways Strategy + Creative.