Snake River Seed Cooperative is a collective of family farmers in the Intermountain West who work together to produce a wide diversity of regionally-adapted seeds. We believe that sharing seed-saving knowledge with farmers in our region is vital to growing a robust, regional seedshed. In January 2022 we transitioned to our current cooperative ownership model from a single-owner LLC model. We currently have 10 grower owners and 5 employee-owners and operate as a benefit corporation.
Are we certified organic?
Many of our growers are certified organic, but several are too small or don’t own the land they farm, which makes certifying impractical. This means that Snake River Seed Cooperative cannot label our packets as certified organic. Each of our growers has taken a pledge to keep their field or garden free of any synthetic herbicide, pesticide, or fertilizer. We strive to be the best possible stewards of the land under our care. Our seeds are grown in low-input systems that more closely mirror most home gardens. This ensures that the seeds in our packets will perform well in any garden.
Are our seeds Non-GMO?
We will not sell any genetically modified seeds. We believe genetically modified organisms (GMOs) pose significant threats to our agriculture, culture, and democracy itself and we do not grow or sell GMO seeds. We have taken the SAFE SEED PLEDGE:
"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."
Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI)
We believe that seeds should remain a part of the public commons and we do not knowingly grow or sell varieties that are patented. However, we believe continued plant breeding is crucial to the progression and adaptation of high-quality organic seeds that can thrive in a changing climate. Therefore, we pay voluntary “royalties” of 5% of OSSI pledged variety sales to the plant breeders who spend years creating new varieties and then release them open-source into the world for other farmers like us to grow and save seed from. If a breeder of a variety isn’t specifically mentioned as a royalty beneficiary of a variety, but you know the breeder (or ARE the breeder!) please let us know.
The purposes of the Corporation are to unite farmers cooperatively and democratically to create a sustainable, regenerative, bioregional seedshed while being committed to employee welfare and producer-driven economics, while also engaging in any legal activity and to create general public benefit as defined under Idaho law.
To grow a robust regional seedshed for the Intermountain West!
To empower Intermountain West farmers and gardeners to plant, grow, save, and share locally-adapted seeds.
Sacred Relationship with the Earth
We work together to assist the seeds and their ecological collaborators by growing, saving, and sharing them.
We believe that each region should build a local seedshed that provides for their community.
Producer Driven Economic Models
We want farmers to be in control of what they grow, and we look to them for guidance on how to operate our co-op.
We actively seek out ways to be anti-racist and pursue anti-racist policies in our business and communities.
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We support and sustain our regional economy through a network of independent businesses.