Open Source Seed rollout draws national interest

freetheseedLast Thursday’s rollout event for the Open Source Seed Initiative got quite a bit of attention. Local media turned out in droves, and the event also received some national coverage — it was featured by NPR and Ars Technica, and Michael Pollan tweeted about it to his 395,000 followers—with more to come.

During the event, a group of faculty, staff, students, farmers and sustainable food systems advocates gathered on the front lawn of the Microbial Sciences Building to celebrate the release of 29 new varieties of vegetables and grains using a novel Open Source Seed Pledge designed to protect the plants from patents and other restrictions down the line.

The event, which was announced in this UW news release, featured talks by a handful of leaders of the Open Source Seed Initiative effort, including three from CALS: horticulture professor Irwin Goldman; community and environmental sociology professor Jack Kloppenburg; and plant breeding and plant genetics grad student Claire Luby.

Toward the end of the ceremony, packets of open source seeds were distributed among the crowd, and then the whole group said the Open Source Seed Pledge aloud together.

Below are some photos from the event. More are available online here.

Irwin Goldman being interviewed by WISC-TV.
Jack Kloppenburg addressing the crowd.
Jack Kloppenburg.


Claire Luby addressing the crowd.

People selecting packets of open source seed.
The crowd reciting the Open Source Seed Pledge together.