Document Type


Publication Date



This report summarizes findings from a 2020 survey of seed producers in the state of Vermont. This survey, which was part of a larger research project aimed to characterize Vermont seed systems, aimed to identify areas of opportunity and concern for seed producers across the state. Data collected include types and valued characteristics of planting material produced from food crops in the state, information on motivations, challenges, and preferences that non-commercial and commercial seed producers perceive in their production of planting material, sourcing and distribution of planting material, forms of exchange that exist between seed producers and the community, and demographic data. Seed producers in this survey produce material mostly from open-pollinated and heirloom varieties, produce most commonly as a hobby or leisure activity, are least motivated by economic considerations, are concerned with both environmental and policy challenges to seed systems, anticipate more challenges to production in the future, gift or barter seeds within informal networks, and maintain a high degree of crop diversity. Diverse planting material serves as the basis of resilient, sustainable agriculture, and through this survey, we have found that seed producers maintain this essential resource in their gardens and fields across the state of Vermont. The first report from the Consortium for Crop Genetic Heritage at the University of Vermont, this summary report gives us valuable insight into the goals, actions, and motivations of seed producers in Vermont, which will allow us to focus energy in the future toward strengthening and supporting seed producers and the seed systems they utilize across the state.