Jim Tjepkema

I started saving seeds in 1983 when I joined the Seed Saver's Exchange. I have continuously offered seeds through SSE since joining and I am currently offering seeds as an SSE member. My collection of seeds includes a wide range of kinds that I collected myself or obtained from other seed savers. I was the curator for spinach in the SSE collection for several years.

I am one of the members of the GSN steering committee. GSN has been set up as a democratic organization where the board is made up of seed saving members who are elected to the board by the members who are also seed savers. It is my hope that GSN will be strongly focused on serving its members. Also, it is my hope that GSN members will take an active interest in the operation of the organization by provide input to the board and supporting the work of GSN in many ways including sharing seeds and information.

I was the coordinator of a farmers network for promotion of sustainable agriculture. This network emphasized farmer participation in research and education. I saw and continue to see farmer participation in programs as a very important part of work being done to advance sustainable agriculture. As a board member of GSN I would work toward serving the needs of the members in a way that would get them involved in educating the public about seed saving. For me seed saving is an activity that should be widely practiced and much more work is needed to get the public involved in this important aspect of gardening.