Event Details


Mountain West Seed Summit

February 21, 2019

8:00 am


5:00 pm

Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Register now for the 2nd Mountain West Seed Summit!

Once again, regional seed stewards will be gathering in Santa Fe for our second Mountain West Seed Summit! We’re thrilled to be holding the 2019 conference at the fabulous Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). This impressive college focuses on empowering Native and non-Native students through education, self-sufficiency, and artistic expression.

Mountain West Seed Summit: “Reunion of the Radicles”
Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
February 21–23, 2019


Charles Eisenstein Author and Speaker, Climate: A New Story
Rowen White
Sierra Seeds, Seed Seva Immersion
Rebecca NewburnRichmond Grows Seed Lending Library
Panagiotis SainatoudisPeliti Seed Festival (Greece)
Miguel SantistevenSol Feliz Farm
Don TippingSiskiyou Seeds, RMSA Board Member
Casey O'LearySnake River Seed Cooperative, RMSA Board Member
Sebastian AguilarOrganic Seed Alliance
Philip KauthSeed Savers Exchange
Greg SchoenGlass Gem Corn Steward
Emily Arasim –  Youth Seed Steward from Tesuque, NM
Bill McDormanRocky Mountain Seed Alliance

More presenters to be announced. Expect a rich, diverse, and regionally focused experience with opportunities to network and build bridges with fellow seed leaders.


Early Bird (until Dec. 31st, 2018): $250
Regular registration: $295
RMSA Supporting Member Rate: $225

Youth/Student: $150

Limited scholarships are available for those in financial need. Email belle@rockymountainseeds.org to be considered. Willing to donate funds toward scholarships? You will be presented with an option to do so when you register. Pay it forward and help our local seed community thrive!

Not sure if you are a Supporting Member? Contact belle@rockymountainseeds.org)
Become a Supporting Member starting at $5 a month and receive the discount. Click here to sign up.

Registration includes lunch on 2/22 and 2/23. We are delighted to have Squash Blossom of Santa Fe coordinating our lunches again. Nina Yozell is passionate about connecting seeds to plates and will design our menus with local flair.



Rooms at the Santa Fe Sage Inn are available at a discounted rate of $103.89 per night. This price includes a 15% tax and $15 per-day facility fee. (NOTE: Facility fees may not show up when registering online, but these will be added to your total cost when your card is charged.) Price includes Queen or King beds (single or double occupancy), a hot breakfast, wifi, parking, shuttles to Santa Fe Plaza, and amenities. After the 2nd guest, additional persons can be added to reservations for $10 each.

Click here to reserve a discounted room or call the Sage Inn at 1-866-433-0335. When booking by phone, mention the Mountain West Seed Summit to get the discount. This rate is only applicable from February 20 – 24, 2019 and reservations must be secured by January 20, 2019. First-come, first-served while availability lasts.

Field Trip

Don't miss out on the Seed Summit Field Trip on February 21st. We are scheduled to visit Tesuque Pueblo, Los Luceros Historic Property, Tewa Women United's Healing Food Oasisand other diverse northern New Mexico seed sites. Price: $75, includes lunch (add-on at registration)


Seed Cuisine Workshop

This workshop will be held on Saturday 2/23 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. Join celebrated chefs Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. andWalter Whitewater for an experiential journey through Native American foods of the region. Frank will talk about seeds as a cuisine and Whitewater will serve two food tastings featuring a Three Sisters Stew and a Sunflower Seed Cake with a hand-harvested Choke Cherry Sauce. Chefs will set up a table for participants to explore the ingredients used and learn about indigenous foods. Price: $20 (add-on at registration).

Presentation Descriptions

Below is a sampling of presentations that will be offered at MWSS. A full listing of presentations and workshops will be available soon.

Growing a Seed Business – Sebastian Aguilar
When you think of the word sustainable, your first thoughts may not include financial success. However, for a regional seed company to thrive, economic sustainability is paramount. How can seed systems support sustainability? For growers, having access to regionally-adapted varieties and high quality seed can increase their resilience, but what can they take into consideration when starting or expanding a seed business? This session will focus on enterprise development and financial sustainability for seed businesses. Topics will include becoming seed self-sufficient, choosing the right seed crop for your system, deciding on a scale for your seed business, managing your inventory, and tracking costs to ensure financial stability. In order to control our own seed supply, we must build seed businesses that are sustainable, ecologically and financially.

Seed Saving and Variety Development for the Future – Laurie Lange
US organic seed producers conduct their trials in conditions unlike the southwest’s intense sun, aridity, and dwindling, seasonally-specific precipitation. To ensure an enduring agriculture here, YOU can contribute simply by saving seed of selected open pollinated (OP) plants that exhibit heat, drought, insect and disease resistance, fine flavor and more in our increasingly rugged conditions. Learn about the fascinating ways flowers self-pollinate or rely on outcrossing; strategies to maintain varietal purity or create new ones; seed cleaning with basic kitchen equipment; and hand pollination for squash and tomatoes—and meet their delightful native pollinators. Come join the growing seed steward movement to help preserve and expand our distinctive southwestern plant community of food, medicine and beauty under the garden's wing.

Young Seed Stewards Rising – Panel Discussion
The future of our seeds and food depend on the rising of the next generations of seed keepers. This panel will highlight the voices of young farmers, seed stewards and educators from across New Mexico, who will share stories of their work for the protection of seeds, land, and culture - and discuss strategies that everyone can use to encourage and enable more young people, and more mentors and elders, to engage in the intergenerational sharing of seeds, skills, and knowledge.

Radicle Urban Seed Saving – Jilian Bishop and Benjamin Fahrer
People often picture farms as large sprawling acreage with a quaint home and barn in the backdrop, and of course this is the sight you'll see on many a beautiful seed farms. But seeds, are (and can be!) grown in all kinds of diverse locations. Whether you are strolling through a community garden and see overripe cucumbers with red ribbons tied upon them, look up to rooftops covered in bolted lettuce, through suburban neighbourhoods and notice a yard transformed into a vibrant garden beyond a fence where grass once lay, or a front lawn of a community space ploughed up, and replaced with heirloom crops and educational signage, once you are open to the possibility, you can picture it everywhere. Seed saving lends itself to being grown in a variety of distinct farms, and spaces. Many of our seed customers or those we share seed with grow in small, urban, or community spaces, so why not grow seed adapted to their unique conditions? Learn from farmers who grow seeds in diverse, small, and inspirational spaces, and about the partnerships they have grown along the way!

On-Farm Breeding for Climate Resilience – Don Tipping
Plants adaptation to climate is a cornerstone of the success of any agricultural system, yet modern agriculture has increasingly come to rely on crop supports such as greenhouses and pesticides to change the environment to suit the crop. Traditional regenerative agriculture strives to work with adapting the genetics to thrive in a region and its stresses such as heat, cold, pests and disease through thoughtful observation and selection. What lessons can be learned from traditional ecological knowledge and applied within a modern context? One example being employed at Siskiyou Seeds is successfully adapting Cucurbitacae crops over the past decade to be more resilient to cucumber beetles to avoid the use of floating row covers and/or bio-pesticides. In many ways creative plant breeding will be one of our most important tools to navigate climate change gracefully.

Learn More

Submit a listing or event

Keep our community in the loop of your farm, food business, and/or related events!

contact us