Welcome to the Montana Seed Growers Association website. Our website aims to provide information and resources to those who produce, condition, treat, test, and distribute agricultural seed throughout Montana.
The Montana Seed Growers Association is a non-profit organization that is responsible for certifying seed for all crops except potatoes and mint grown in the State of Montana. The organization is also responsible for certifying interagency seed purchased in another state or Canada for the purpose of certification in Montana. The Montana Seed Growers Association, MSGA, consists of approximately 500 Certified Seed producers and dealers across the state of Montana and is governed by a Board of Directors, which is elected annually by the membership.
The main objectives of MSGA are:
- promote the production of certified seed
- encourage agricultural producers in Montana to accept and use superior seed which results in the production of the highest quality crops
The certification process, administered by the MSGA, makes it possible for seed producers to raise a high quality seed source that through a process of application, field inspection, seed conditioning and laboratory tests, insures genetic purity. This process also ensures that varietal identity of seed is preserved.
MSGA is a member of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), an international organization whose members are agencies responsible for seed certification in their respective areas.
The first seed production in Montana was established in the late 1800’s when alfalfa was introduced as a forage crop. Alfalfa proved to be a good forage crop, but the market for alfalfa seed produced in Montana proved to be a even more lucrative business. Not only was it a good forage crop, but the market for alfalfa seed produced in Montana became a lucrative business. Montana growers needed an increased supply of seed to keep pace with demand and at the same time, growers began to recognize the need to establish standards of quality for alfalfa seed.
During the 1912 Montana State Fair, seed producers urged for the establishment of an organization, which could develop and administer rules and regulations around the quality of alfalfa seed grown in Montana. On September 26, 1912, the Montana Seed Growers Association was formed. The association began setting regulations and standards for the production of quality Montana seed.
In 1951, the Montana State Legislative session passed into law and set forth in Volume I, revised codes on Montana, Section 3-809 to 815 inclusive that Montana State University be the designated certification agency for the state, certifying all seeds and plant parts except potatoes. Under authority of the act, the responsibility for certifying all field crops except potatoes was delegated by Montana State University to the Montana Seed Growers Association. Today, MSGA maintains a close relationship with Montana State University, the faculty and staff of the Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology Department, and the MSU Extension Service.