“We recently hired a young gentleman who graduated in June 2023 with his Masters in Horticulture & Agronomy from UC Davis.  Ruben Araoz was one of the 50 students which Seed Central brought to the ASTA Leadership Summit in Sacramento. We met him several times and put him up to interview for our new Vegetable Breeder position for broccoli and LD onions.  Ruben started with us this week and is already busy traveling to our research and testing facilities in North America.”

-Steve Wiley, CEO, American Takii
September 2023


"It's not enough to be a boss, this next generation wants leadership, and someone who inspires and instills the importance of the company and has a passion for what the company's doing. So I think it's really important that platforms like ASTA are encouraging leaders and encouraging leadership forums to have a discussion of how to grow that capacity within your own company."

-Julie Borlaug, Borlaug Foundation


“Thank you Seed Central and ASTA. By arranging for a large group of students to attend the ASTA Leadership Summit you made it possible for me to find a great job right after graduation.”

-Ruben Araoz Romero, Vegetable Breeder, American Takii

"I think this is the best balance between an opportunity to be educated, while at the same time work with ASTA and the leadership committee in establishing policy for the association, and kind of giving us our marching orders with regards to, you know, politicians regulatory reform, international business."

-Wayne Gale, Stokes Seeds


"As someone new in my career and new in leadership, I think this is a really great opportunity to network and meet people. There's not a whole lot opportunities in seed trade, where you get together in an open room and be able to have an honest conversation about things like leadership."

-Cheni Filios, Ball Horticultural

"It's absolutely necessary. I believe in succession planning. I believe that preparing people for these roles, it just doesn't happen. It's nothing you can teach, but by giving them sort of skills and experiences to engage with current leaders and think about leadership is really important for establishing their success if they do step into leadership roles in the future."

-Ron Walcott, University of Georgia


"I've been to quite a lot of conferences in my five years of my Ph.D. program, and this is the only one that's really focused on leadership and it's having it has a lot more interesting information and things I've never heard of than anything else I've been to. So it's been wildly helpful."

-Kendall Lee, Graduate Student, University of Georgia