In order for our seed to be certified, we work with the Virginia Crop Improvement Association (VCIA). VCIA is a non-profit educational and service organization officially recognized as the seed certifying agency in Virginia for maintaining varietal identity and mechanical purity of improved crops. To achieve certification, each variety of each crop that we grow must adhere to a system of recordkeeping, proper planting and harvesting procedures, and field inspections while meeting testing standards for germination and purity.
The individual seed varieties that we grow come from two different places. They are either public varieties from the Virginia Tech Small Grains and Soybean Breeding Programs or they are the intellectual properties of one our partner companies. We grow two lines of wheat (Featherstone 176 and Featherstone VA258) that originated from the Virginia Tech Small Grains Breeding Program, but are exclusively ours to grow and market.
A portion of the price of each bag of a public seed variety is paid back to Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties in the form of royalties. Those royalties are used to help continue funding the breeding programs and ensure that competitive public wheat, barley, oat, and soybean varieties are available in the future.
After our crops are harvested, the seed is processed in our cleaning facility. The seed goes through a series of size, air, and weight separations using screens and a gravity table to extract only the highest quality seed. Once seed is cleaned, we offer a variety of seed treatments including inoculants, fungicides, and insecticides as requested. Finally, each seed order is custom packaged in bulk containers or paper bags. The seed plant and warehouse were renovated in 2011 with new equipment, expanded storage space, and a new loading dock.