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Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Department of ...

The state of Iowa has provided guidance for keeping field workers safe during the 2020 growing season in response to challenges posed by COVID-19.

Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Public Health have released theirCOVID-19 Guidance for Agriculture Employers, Farm Labor Contractors, Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers, and Migrant Labor Camp Operators to help keep workers, and all Iowans, safe. Included in the document is guidance for transportation of workers, housing and sleeping units, eating areas, restrooms/bathrooms, and tools used in the field. Information also is provided for handling situations where workers are showing COVID-19 symptoms and when a worker is diagnosed with the virus.

Many of the guidelines involve additional physical separation through spacing or barriers as well as additional cleaning protocols. The full document can be found here. The Iowa Seed Association encourages members to use the information provided to help maintain a healthy and productive growing season.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact Joan O’Brien who can assist with connecting you to the proper resource to answer your question – joanoatagribizdotorg or 515-975-7461 (cell).

COVID-19 Guidance for Agriculture Employers, Farm Labor Contractors, Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers, and Migrant Labor Camp Operators

Farming is an essential business operation and activity, often supported by the use of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. COVID-19 can spread rapidly in settings with many people living in close proximity, including living facilities for migrant farmworkers. Agriculture employers and farm labor contractors who provide housing for migrant workers should implement plans to prevent exposure to the virus that causes COVID- 19, care for individuals with COVID-19 and prevent community transmission of the disease. Commitment to strong sanitary protocols will decrease operational impacts.

Individuals above the age of 65 and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, and chronic heart disease, or a compromised immune system (e.g., cancer, cancer treatment, or other immunosuppressant treatments) have a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This could include agricultural workers with lung problems associated with exposure to common hazards and irritants such as smoke, pesticides, and fungi found in crops. The following recommendations from Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Public Health are intended to prevent exposure to COVID-19, where possible, and protect the public health of the state.

The key components of a prevention plan for migrant farmworkers include:

  1. Minimizing the risk for exposure to the virus,
  2. Early detection of individuals with symptoms of COVID-19, and
  3. Caring for individuals with COVID-19 while ensuring that they do not give the infection to anyone else.


Download the full document to read more.


Additionally, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has provided some additional resources to communicate with field workers.

Below is an informational document that can be shared with field workers written in both English and Spanish.

As you prepare your own field operations, ASTA has a checklist for keeping workers safe which can be used in conjunction with the state of Iowa guidance:

Pesticide Applicator Self-Service Site Now Availab...

Pesticide applicators and licensed businesses have a new way to apply for their certification, pay fees, and check on their status. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has launched a self-service portal for pesticide applicators meant to streamline the certification process.

First-time users will need to register to use the online site. Once registered, users can check on their status, pay fees, and retrieve certification numbers. The site also works for licensed businesses and private applicators.

Additionally, for new applicators who will be working for a licensed business under the supervision of a certified applicator and need to take the private applicator test as the workaround during the COVID-19 pandemic, registration, and payment of fees can be done directly from the portal. A successfully completed test immediately provides a certified applicator number.

  • First-time users can register here – click here
  • Instructions on First Time User registration instructions – click here
  • Pesticide Applicator Self-Service site (login page for those already registered) – click here

The self-service portal uses each pesticide applicator’s unique certification number to match their application and payment to their training and testing history.

To apply for a new or renew an existing pesticide applicator license, individuals will use their certification number to log-in to the self-service portal. The licensee can submit their application, test results, and payment online.

Once in-person testing resumes, proctored test locations will use each applicator’s unique certification number when uploading the test results to the self-service portal. The portal will link the user’s training and testing information to the application and payment records stored in the online system.

Once the application, payment, training, and testing information are received, the licenses and certifications will be processed and sent directly to the applicant.

By moving the process online, individual pesticide applicators can access their records anytime by logging into the self-service portal. The system also has a public search function that empowers customers and employers to verify that their pesticide applicators are licensed to work in the state of Iowa.

Questions about the self-service site can be directed to the Pesticide Bureau via email pesticidesatiowaagriculturedotgov  (pesticidesatiowaagriculturedotgov)  .

Moeller Recognized with IAWA Iowa Watershed Impact...

Shannon Moeller, Project Coordinator, Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative, Iowa Seed Association

Shannon Moeller, the project coordinator for the Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative, is honored with the new Impact award from the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) as part of the third annual Iowa Watershed Awards program.

Moeller was honored with five other watershed coordinators for their multitude of contributions and steadfast dedication to improving water quality across the state.

Moeller is currently helping Iowa seed corn producers adopt cover crops while also simultaneously advancing the objectives of the statewide Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) through the
Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crops Initiative.

Improving Water Quality with Cover Crops on Seed Corn Acres

Before handling this cover crops project with seed corn growers, Moeller was the project coordinator for the Benton/Tama nutrient reduction watershed project.

“Working with farmers and landowners to adopt conservation practices that improve water quality across Benton and Tama counties was a great experience for my current project with the Iowa Seed Association (ISA),” she says. “Helping seed corn growers use cover crops across the entire state is very rewarding.”

Since this project began in 2016, Moeller has worked with seed companies to educate and encourage farmers to seed cover crops following seed field harvest. “Before this project began, only 5 to 10% of seed corn acres in the state had cover crops. In 2019, I worked with over 200 growers in the program covering 30% of Iowa’s seed acres, with some areas close to 75%,” she says.

In addition, more than 50 growers have expanded cover crop use on their commercial corn (non-seed corn) acres, which also helps to meet the goals of the Iowa NRS, she adds.

In 2019, ISA and the Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative partnered with the Iowa Ag Radio Network to co-host a series of field days for the Row Crop Run in the summer and fall. Moeller, through her efforts at field days and seed meetings, has made a big difference in helping farmers understand the soil health and water quality benefits provided by cover crops. She shares that growers get excited when they see visible improvements in soil structure, as well as less erosion and runoff.

“After four years, it’s exciting for me to share the successes and challenges, from farmer to farmer,” she says. “So many farmers are now calling me for advice, which is an honor and a privilege.”

Success doesn’t stop there, as Moeller says she retains almost 100% of growers to continue growing cover crops year after year. “They are switching from basic covers like oats that winter-kill to more winter-hardy species like cereal rye and other seed blends designed to improve soil organic matter and water infiltration faster,” she says.

Partnership invaluable

Moeller is quick to point out the value of partnerships and mentors that help drive program success. “I pride myself in developing field days with value, and that includes talks by experienced cover crop farmers, along with involvement from local watersheds, NRCS, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Learning Farms, the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Soil Health Partnership, and many others,” she says.

The Iowa Seed Association developed the Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative project in conjunction with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and Iowa Corn. A grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) under their Clean Water Iowa Initiative provides funding for the project. Some seed companies also provide cover crops cost-share assistance.

To help maintain momentum for her work, Moeller will receive funding through the Iowa Watershed Award to apply to the Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative, as well as funding for her own professional development. She recently added to her ISU Agronomy degree by becoming a Certified Crop Adviser in 2019, with the goal to never stop learning.

Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative Primary Objectives

  • Directly engage seed corn companies to work with their growers on adopting cover crops
  • Increase the number of seed corn growers utilizing cover crops
  • Develop and deploy new strategic partnerships with agricultural retailers to provide turn-key services for growers to assist them with cover crop implementation
  • Develop and distribute educational and informational materials primarily targeted to entry-level audiences to provide more focus on beginning cover crop user needs
  • Hold demonstration field days and grower meetings to provide information and advice designed to equip farmers with the resource support needed for successful establishment and management of cover crops

The Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crops Initiative focuses on ways to help increase the adoption of cover crops specifically within the seed corn production system in Iowa. The focus on seed corn is driven by the unique opportunity that seed corn provides due to the earlier harvest, thereby providing better timing opportunities for establishing cover crops in the late summer and fall after harvest. This focus is also heavily driven by the seed corn industry in Iowa, and their efforts to help promote and support the use of cover crops as part of Iowa’s Nutrient Strategy.

Find out how you can become a part of the Initiative or start cover crops on your seed corn acres at

Help Applicators Keep Field Workers Safe

Pesticide applicators can now know in near real-time where seed field workers are active.

Those registered with the FieldWatch system through the state of Iowa as an applicator now have access to SeedFieldCheck reporting which shows where field workers are currently active and where seed companies plan to have active workers in the following 24 hours. 

The new functionality is integrated into the existing FieldWatch crop and apiary registry and will help seed companies more effectively communicate the location and presence of seed field workers to pesticide applicators. The information will be available in near real-time allowing seed companies the ability to make edits and update plans quickly and replace the endless circulation of emails and paper or electronic maps to targeted applicators. 

With the addition of seed field workers to the FieldWatch system, the state of Iowa has a “one-stop-shop” for applicators to find information about sensitive crops, apiaries, and seed field workers.

SeedFieldCheck is a pilot project launched in the state of Iowa by the Iowa Seed Association, Iowa Agricultural Aviation Association, and FieldWatch®

More information about the pilot program:

Companies and pesticide applicators who are currently registered with FieldWatch will need to specifically add the SeedFieldCheck capability. This will allow a full report of sensitive crops, apiaries, and active field workers to registered users.

Companies currently participating in reporting field workers include Bayer, Becks, Corteva, Remington, and Syngenta.

For questions, please contact Joan O’Brien at 515-262-8323 or via email joanoatagribizdotorg  (joanoatagribizdotorg)  . Thank You.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardshi...

Governor Reynolds extended the end date of the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration to April 30, 2020. As part of that decision, additional declaration language was added regarding commercial pesticide applicators who are not currently certified.

The declaration provides an opportunity for companies to hire new applicators during the Emergency Declaration period using the private applicator exam. See the full press release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for details.
The association has been working diligently with Governor Reynolds and Secretary Naig on the commercial pesticide applicator certification issue.
We would like to thank the Governor and Secretary for their leadership in providing a solution in these difficult circumstances and continuing to recognize it is in the vital interest of the state and the country that the food production system in the United States remains as uninterrupted as possible.

Additional Information

The COVID-19 pandemic has created delays in processing and mailing pesticide applicator cards and certifications. Applicators can view the status of their certifications on the Department’s public search portal.
For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau at pesticidesatiowaagriculturedotgov  (pesticidesatiowaagriculturedotgov)   or 515-281-8591.

IowaSeed Forum Announces Speakers

photo by Shannon Moeller

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Iowa State Fairgrounds
Varied Industries Building
9:00 – 9:20
Iowa Seed Annual Meeting and Honorary Member Award

9:20 – 9:35
John Latham, Latham Hi-Tech Seed
ASTA Update

Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig, IDALS
Iowa Update

10:05 – 10:35
Dave Tierney, Bayer CropScience
Addressing Iowa legislative/issues update and glyphosate update

Stephanie Regagnon, FieldWatch CEO
2020 Overview

11:05 – 11:45
Dr. Chad Hart, ISU

Lunch and scholarship recognition to follow forum, view conference information at

Iowa Seed Golf & Education

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Veenker Memorial Golf Course

Ames, Iowa

Download Registration Form Here (PDF)

Instructions: Attendees visiting the Seed Science Center are asked to park at the Memorial Union on Lincoln Way and walk to the Seed Science Center.

It’s a 10 to 15-minute walk from the parking lot. Please arrive early to park and attend the session on time. Google maps walking directions from the parking lot:

Schedule of Events:

9:00 AM               Check-in | ISU Seed Center, coffee and refreshments

9:15 AM              
Dr. Chad Hart, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics

Topic: The latest on tariff and trade issues with QA session

10:15 AM           
Dr. Kan Wang, Professor Plant Biotechnology, Co-Director Crop Bioengineering Center

Topic: The CRISPR Technology with QA session

11:00 AM*          Check-in for golfers who did not attend morning sessions (*at Golf Course)

11:15 AM            Tour of Seed Lab (optional) and depart for luncheon at Veenker Clubhouse

11:30 AM            Luncheon at clubhouse

12:00 PM             Golf Shotgun Start


From Memorial Union parking to Veenker Clubhouse

Addresses to Know:

Memorial Union, ISU Campus, 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50012
Seed Science Center, 2115 Osborn Drive, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011
Veenker Memorial Golf Course, 2916, Veenker Dr, Ames, IA 50011


Joan O’Brien, Iowa Seed Association Office
joanoatagribizdotorg  (joanoatagribizdotorg)   or 515-262-8323\

Register Today!

Download Registration Form Here (PDF)

Please return to :

Email: JoanOatagribizdotorg

Mail: Iowa Seed Association 900 Des Moines St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Cornelius Named 2019 ISA Board President

Chuck Cornelius, Cornelius Seed

Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Seed Association (ISA) named Chuck Cornelius of Bellevue, Iowa, as 2019 Board President during the 2019 ISA annual meeting in Des Moines. The full 2019 board was confirmed and announced on February 13. The association also held the annual Iowa Seed Forum prior to the annual meeting.

Cornelius is currently the President and Production Manager of Cornelius Seed Company in Bellevue, Iowa. Chuck joined the family business after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Agronomy, extending the company’s family-owned heritage to the 5th generation.

Also rising in the ranks of the ISA board is Chris Latham of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, named 1st Vice President and Randy Ramundt of Bayer CropScience, named 2nd Vice President. 2018 ISA President Jim Webster of Corteva Agriscience moved to Past President and will help on the board for one final year.

Each seat on the ISA serves a three-year term until the term either expires or the board member is nominated to the leadership track to become board president. Newly added to the board of directors include Brooke Achenbach of Syngenta and Terry Garner of BASF. Both Achenbach and Garner will serve on the ISA board until 2022.

Full board contact information can be accessed here 

Full Board of Directors Listing

Brooke Achenbach, Syngenta

Adam Anderson, Corteva Agriscience

Jim Anderson, Remington Seeds, LLC

Jeremiah Andorf, Bayer CropsScience

Chuck Cornelius, Cornelius Seed Company 2019 President

Terry Garner, BASF

Chris Latham, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds  – 1st Vice President

Randy Ramundt, Bayer CropScience – 2nd Vice President

Jim Rouse, Iowa Crop Improvement Association

Tom Severson, Agvantage FS

Jim Webster, Corteva Agriscience – Past President

Dr. Manjit Misra, Iowa Seed Science Center Director – Appointed


The Iowa Seed Association strives to promote the seed industry, research pertaining to the betterment of agriculture, and to cooperate with educational and regulatory authorities in the development of a sound and effective seed program for the advancement of agriculture.



Goggi Honored for Seed Industry Dedication and Ach...

Dr. Susana Goggi Named 2019 Iowa Seed Association Honorary Member

An Iowa State University professor is the recipient of the 2019 Iowa Seed Association (ISA) Honorary Membership Award.  Dr. Susana Goggi, Professor of Agronomy, has dedicated her life to addressing major seed quality issues confronting the seed industry in Iowa and globally.

“Dr. Goggi has demonstrated great dedication to the improvement and support of the Iowa seed industry,”  said Jim Webster, ISA board president. “Her entire career has been focused on delivery of quality seeds and the education of people that conduct the research, produce the seed or sell the seeds that benefit the nation’s farmers.”

Webster emphasizes Goggi’s impact on future seed professionals through her teaching. Dr. Goggi has trained more than 25 Master’s degree and Ph.D. students and has taught seed physiology and science to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students in class.

“The influence she has on our young people through her Seed Science and Technology class will ensure the seed industry is prepared to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population,” said Webster.  “She has been a good partner to seed companies providing research and advice on seed quality issues.”

(left) Dr. Manjit Mirsa, ISU, accepts the 2019 Honorary Member Award on behalf of Dr. Susana Goggi, ISU, from 2018 ISA Board President Jim Webster for her dedication to the seed industry.

Goggi was recognized with the award, during the annual Seed Forum hosted by the Iowa Seed Association (ISA). The association annually partners with the Agribusiness Showcase and Conference in Des Moines to provide attending members with a wider range of learning and networking opportunities. The recipient of this award has been chosen every year since 1949, by the outgoing ISA board president.

“Over the years I have been impressed at the caliber of the recipients of this award,” Goggi said. “I am humbled, and at the same time ecstatic, to be recognized among these giants of the seed industry.”

Annually, Goggi leads an ISA committee with the selection process of scholarships which are awarded to Iowa State University students at the conference.  This year ten ISU students interested in pursuing seed science studies received scholarships.

“She recognizes the importance of quality seed as the foundational component in agriculture and has served with purpose, both directly and indirectly, to support the success of the seed industry and America’s farmers,” said Webster. “The Iowa Seed Association is honored to recognize her service.”

Original Post from ISU News

Iowa Seed Forum & ISA Annual Meeting

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


9:00 AM – 12:00 PM




2019 Registration Includes:

  • Two-Day Admission to the 2019 Agribusiness Showcase & Conference & admission to the trade show floor
  • Admission to the All Industry Reception on Tuesday, February 12
  • Admission to all free educational sessions Wednesday, February 13
  • Pancake breakfast on Wednesday, February 13 – exclusive raffle ticket
  • All Industry Luncheon on Wednesday, February 13

The Iowa Seed Association continues their partnership with the Agribusiness Showcase & Conference offering ISA members the opportunity to attend a wider variety of workshops and network with all facets of the ag industry. The ISA Annual Meeting & Seed Forum will be held on Wednesday, February 13, from 9 am to Noon. ISA Annual Meeting & Seed Forum will also host the ISA Scholarship Award Recognition Ceremony and an Amazon Echo Raffle (must be present to win).

Meeting Agenda:

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. 
Morning Plenary Session – Room D
– Keynote Speaker: Iowa Dep. Sec. of Ag Julie Kenney

9:10 – 11:00 AM
Identifying Resources in Conservation Planning
– TBA, Conservation Information Technology Center

11:00 – 11:15 a.m. 
ISA Annual Meeting – Room A
− Jim Webster, ISA President
− Recognition of ISA 2019 Honorary Member
Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative Project Update
− Shannon Moeller, ISA Project Coordinator

11:15 – 11:30 a.m. 
ASTA Update
− John Latham, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, President

11:30 a.m.  – Noon 
Quality Seeds to Feed the World: ISU’s role in serving the seed industry in Iowa and worldwide
− Dr. Manjit Misra, Seed Science Center – ISU, Director

– (1) Amazon Echo Raffle

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
All Industry Luncheon on Showcase Floor
-Keynote Speaker: Daniel Robinson, Dean, Iowa State University – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (invited)
ISU Scholarship Recognition
-2018-2019 Iowa Seed Association ISU Scholarships &
– Bill Latham ISU Scholarship recipients recognized