National Native Seed Conference, March 27-30, 2023, Washington, D.C.
PURPOSE AND HISTORY
The Tallgrass Prairie Center (TPC) Plant Materials Program at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) aims to increase the availability and affordability of regionally appropriate, Source Identified (SI) native seed for roadsides and other restorations. We serve a linking role within the native seed system in our region by:
1) developing SI foundation stock seed that is regionally adapted and genetically diverse for the native seed industry.
2) fostering communication across the native seed supply chain.
A plant materials program, originally named the Iowa Ecotype Project (IEP), was initiated in 1990 at UNI, in partnership with several agencies and with funding from the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund. The State of Iowa enacted legislation in 1988 declaring Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) to be in the public interest. This stimulated demand for regionally adapted native seed. Iowa’s remnant prairies were too fragmented to support wild collection for large scale restoration. Few species of native seed, primarily cultivars, were available for purchase. Public funding of SI stock seed development reduced risk to growers and communication among partners influenced demand for new species, helping to foster a diverse native seed market in the region.
Department of Biology
Tallgrass Prairie Center
Original Publication Date
1 PDF file
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
©2023 Laura L. Jackson, Kristine Nemec, and Laura Fischer Walter
Jackson, Laura L.; Nemec, Kristine; and Walter, Laura Fischer, "A 33 year old native seed system in the Upper Midwest: Public policy and investment contribute to a diverse commercial native seed market [slideshow]" (2023). Faculty Publications. 5370.