Brigid Meints, Board Co-Chair

  • Term: 2020-2023
  • Membership & Outreach Committee
  • SOSS Planning Committee

Brigid is an Assistant Professor (Senior Research) with the Barley Breeding program at Oregon State University. She grew up in Corvallis, OR and developed a love for plants at a young age. She earned a BA from Scripps College in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies, but found her way back to plants after graduation when she began working for the barley breeding program at OSU. She earned her MS from OSU in Crop Science with a focus in Plant Breeding & Genetics and completed her PhD in Crop Science at Washington State University. Her research focuses on breeding multi-use naked barley for organic systems. She has attended several SOSS events and served on the 2015 organizing committee.

Lindsay Wyatt, Board Co-Chair

  • Term 2019-2022
  • SOSS Planning Committee
  • Strategic Planning Committee

Lindsay is a squash and pumpkin breeder at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Her interest in vegetable breeding stems from her work at her family’s retail greenhouse and garden center in Ohio. After receiving a B.S. degree in Biology from Duke University, Lindsay went on to pursue a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Cornell University, graduating in 2015. While at Cornell, Lindsay studied vegetable breeding and genetics with Dr. Michael Mazourek, focusing on winter squash fruit quality and Phytophthora capsici resistance in bell pepper. Lindsay has also served on the organizing committee for the 2014 SOSS hosted by Cornell University, Ithaca NY.

Ginny Moore, Board Secretary

  • Term: 2019-2022
  • Membership & Outreach Committee
  • DEI Committee
  • Fundraising Committee

Ginny is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University in the School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Breeding and Genetics Section. She works on breeding cover crops including crimson clover, hairy vetch, and winter pea, as well as improving cover crop interseeding systems through breeding and agronomic research. She completed her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, with a master’s in Agroecology and Agricultural & Applied economics (focused on cover crop adoption) and a PhD in Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics (focused on breeding sweet corn for resistance to corn earworm). She has attended several SOSS meetings and served as a member of the organizing committee in 2016.

Jared Zystro, Board Treasurer

  • Term: 2019-2022
  • Fundraising Committee

Jared is Organic Seed Alliance’s research and education assistant director. He has an M.S. and Ph.D. in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he studied efficient methods of developing new organic sweet corn varieties, including using traditional and genomic prediction, multi-environment testing, and alternative experimental designs. Jared has worked in the organic seed industry for over 15 years, managing seed production at two farms and conducting research and education projects with OSA. He currently manages OSA’s regional development in California, conducts participatory breeding projects and variety trials, and teaches farmers about seed production and plant breeding at workshops, conferences, and field days. He lives in the coastal town of Arcata, CA, with his wife and son.

Tiffany Fess, Board Historian

  • Term: 2021-2024
  • Membership & Outreach Committee
  • Fundraising Committee
  • SOSS Planning Committee

Tiffany has been involved in organic crop research for several years. She is currently completing a PhD at West Virginia University in Agricultural Sciences. Her dissertation focuses on determining differences in nutritional quality and gene expression in crops produced with opposing forms of nitrogen fertilization. Additionally, she has been involved with projects assessing biological pest control in green bean crops, production of heirloom tomatoes and disease resistance, as well as quinoa production in regional organic systems. She has also attended several SOSS events, serving on the 2015 organizing committee.

Hannah Swegarden, Board Member

  • Term: 2020-2023
  • Strategic Planning Committee
  • DEI Committee
  • SOSP-OSA Liaison

Hannah is currently a PhD student at Cornell University, under the advisement of vegetable breeder, Dr. Phillip Griffiths (Cornell – NYSAES). Her research investigates nutritional and consumer quality traits in leafy Brassica vegetables. In particular, performing sensory analysis and consumer market research to elucidate the methodology required to engage and incorporate consumers in the plant breeding process. Hannah was first introduced to the world of organic seed while completing a master’s program at the University of Minnesota with focus on the breeding and evaluation of heirloom dry beans for organic farming operations in the Midwest. Additionally she has attended SOSS events since 2013, also serving as a member of the organizing committee in 2015.

Lane Selman, Board Member

  • Term: 2021-2024

Lane grew up on a citrus farm that her Sicilian great-grandparents planted in 1919 on Florida’s space coast. She studied Agronomy (BS) and Entomology (MS) at University of Florida before moving to Oregon in 2000. Lane is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Oregon State University where she has worked with organic vegetable and grain farmers, managed collaborative research projects, and planned outreach events since 2005. In 2011, Lane created the Culinary Breeding Network to build communities of plant breeders, seed growers, farmers, produce buyers, chefs and other stakeholders to improve quality in vegetables and grains. She currently serves on the Portland-Bologna Sister City Association board. Lane lives in Portland, Oregon. Lane was inspired to join the board of SOSP as she strongly believes that building community and increasing connections in the organic seed world will enhance our effectiveness as change makers.

Cristiana Vallejos, Board Member

  • Term: 2021-2024
  • Membership & Outreach Committee
  • SOSS Planning Committee
  • DEI Committee

Cristiana is a Master’s student in the Crop and Soil Science Department at Oregon State University focusing on Plant Breeding & Genetics. In 2019, they were awarded a B.S. in Horticulture with an option in PB&G from Oregon State University. They attended SOSS in both 2018 and 2019 as an undergrad student while working on breeding tomatoes for disease resistance for organic systems. Currently, their research focuses on breeding multi-use naked barley for organic systems. As a current student, who identifies as queer and non-binary, Cristiana was motivated to join the SOSP board in hope of finding a community within the plant breeding field that supports and  encourages inclusivity and gender equity.

Claire Luby, Board Member

  • Term: 2021-2024
  • SOSS Planning Committee
  • Strategic Planning Commitee
  • DEI Committee

Claire Luby is a faculty associate in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a plant scientist who focuses on seed systems to address agricultural challenges ranging from the broader effects of intellectual property rights on plant varieties to supporting food and seed sovereignty efforts. Her research seeks to enable more diverse peoples to work with more kinds of seeds in more places using plant breeding to uniquely diversify agricultural systems. In addition to her teaching and research, she has co-founded and currently sits on the boards of the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI, www.osseeds.org), the Student Organic Seed Symposium, and the Society of Organic Seed Professionals.