South Dakota Crop Improvement Association and Seed Certification

To foster a more stable agriculture for the state of South Dakota

South Dakota Crop Improvement Association (SDCIA) was formed in 1925 through consolidation of the SD Corn Growers and Breeders Association, founded in 1906, the SD Grain Growers Association, organized in 1910, and the SD Experiment Association, established in 1912. The Association has headquarters in Brookings, where it is housed within the Plant Science Department in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University (SDSU).

How We Are Governed

SDCIA has a 12 member board. Two representatives are elected from each of the three geographic regions and four are elected to serve at large.  Also, the Dean of the College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences at SDSU or his/her designee holds a non-voting position on the Board. The executive director serves ex-officio as secretary-treasurer and is also a non-voting position. The board elects officers each year and has several standing committees.

County Crop Improvement Associations are organized within the counties and elect their own directors and officers.

The SDCIA Mission

SDCIA was formed and is directed by its members as an effective voice of action in all aspects of producing and marketing agricultural crops, including the promotion of agricultural research and education of members.  

The delivery of research through the release of public crop varieties has been, and remains, a major focus. Seed is a product of research and the delivery vehicle for new and improved genetics. While seed is basic to life and good seed is basic to sound agricultural growth and prosperity, it is not the only reason for the Association's existence. Only a portion of the members actively produce varieties for sale as certified seed. While the organization has evolved through many changes over the years, including changes in its name, its motive has remained the same: To foster a more stable agriculture for the state of South Dakota.

What We Believe

The stability of the Association has been fostered by keen interest in research and education from within. As members learned from personal experience how they and their neighbors could benefit from research and education, they expanded these programs for the betterment of agriculture. The Association's strength depends not on a huge, but in a stable membership.

What We Do

While SDCIA supports all aspects of crop production, its primary focus is in these areas:

  • Support of basic and applied research at South Dakota State University.
  • Support and participation in disseminating new technologies resulting from research applicable to members, including support of the SDSU Extension.
  • Education of members and the general public regarding the Association's goals and mission.
  • Promoting production and use of quality seed of improved varieties and hybrids.
  • Promoting use of Certified seed in crop production.

Article II of the SDCIA Constitution states that the organization shall be operated to promote the interests of South Dakota agriculture by increasing the efficiency of farm crop production and the income derived from it through improved varieties, high-quality seed, plant disease control and sound agricultural practices. The Constitution specifies these functions:

  • To collect and disseminate information concerning the growing, harvesting, conditioning, storing and handling of superior field crop seeds and other information of value.
  • To cooperate with South Dakota State University in the introduction and distribution of seed stocks and propagation of materials of improved crop varieties.
  • To support agricultural research that furthers the purposes of this corporation.
  • To cooperate with the South Dakota Foundation Seed Stock Division and other such organizations in surrounding states in the increase and distribution of Breeder and Foundation Seed stocks.
  • To encourage the authorized propagation of seed of superior varieties, the general use of improved varieties and better production practices.
  • To foster, promote and otherwise aid auxiliary crop improvement associations throughout the state.
  • To cooperate with other agencies in supporting and sponsoring educational activities related to improved seed and production practices.
  • To develop, establish and adopt rules, regulations and standards for the growing, conditioning and certification and other related value added seed and grain programs.
  • To develop, establish and adopt a uniform nomenclature for all classes of certified and Quality Assurance (QA) seed, and Identity Preserved (IP) grain to require the use of uniform and distinct tags, emblems, marks or certificates for seed officially certified and grain labeled under standards and guidelines established by the Association.
  • To verify eligibility of planting stocks, to carry out such field and seed inspection services as required in seed certification, QA, IP and other such value added programs developed to designate lots of seed/grain with appropriate identification as to class, and to issue tags, certificates and other documentary evidence.
  • To participate in interagency certification and inspection protocol of seeds and value added grain in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).To publicize, advertise and otherwise promote the merits and use of high quality seed produced according to the standards and guidelines of the respective programs.