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Decorah, Iowa August 1, 2016 – Seed Savers Exchange, Inc., a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds, announces the election of Rowen White as Chair of its board of directors. White succeeds Keith Crotz who served as Chair since 2012. The decision was made at the board’s July 15, 2016 meeting. Crotz will remain a director of the board.

Rowen White is a seed saver, farmer and educator and a passionate activist for seed sovereignty. She is from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and curates an extensive collection of rare northeast native seeds. Rowen is the director and founder of Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed cooperative focusing on local seed production and education, based in Nevada City, California. She teaches creative seed training immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities.

“Rowen White is a nationally respected leader whose understanding of community seed systems is an invaluable asset to the mission of Seed Savers Exchange,” said John Torgrimson, the organization’s Executive Director. “She embodies the idea that seeds have belonged in the commons for thousands of years and that it is our responsibility to maintain them as a part of our food culture.” White’s leadership comes at a time when Seed Savers Exchange continues to nurture and develop community seed banks throughout the United States.

“It is a great honor to continue to serve in a leadership role with Seed Savers Exchange, who has greatly inspired me along my path of seed stewardship,” White said. “Seed stewardship is intergenerational work, and I have great confidence in our organization to continue to make inspired and relevant contributions to the growing seed movement in meaningful ways. We need to care for our precious collective inheritance of seeds to meet the needs of today’s organic local food movement and for future generations. ”

The Seed Savers Exchange board is comprised of 10 volunteer directors who serve three year terms. Founded in 1975, Seed Savers Exchange operates an 890acre farm in northeast Iowa where more than 20,000 rare seed and plant varieties are collected and maintained. Its mission is to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden heritage for future generations by collecting, growing and sharing heirloom seeds and plants. For more information visit www.seedsavers.org