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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Oklahoma Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) is the outgrowth of a 1904 organization of Kay County (Oklahoma Corn Growers Association). In 1909, the organization became the Oklahoma Corn Club and in 1912 it became the Oklahoma Seed Growers Association. In 1922, it became the Oklahoma Crop Improvement Association and was officially incorporated in 1930 under the laws of Oklahoma as a non-profit , non-stock cooperative association. In 1937, the Oklahoma State Legislature passed House Bill 513 known as the Oklahoma State Seed Certification law. In 1938, an agreement was reached between OCIA and the Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) authorizing OCIA to conduct the certification of seeds, plants, and plant parts within the state of Oklahoma. In 1963, House Bill 881 updated the original law. The memorandum of agreement between OSU (the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources) and OCIA has been updated several times and was last modified in 1992.

   Seed certification in Oklahoma is based on both genetic and mechanical standards. All Oklahoma certified seed must meet minimum standards for genetic purity, germination, mechanical purity and be free of certain diseases and noxious weed seed. The standards are established and modified from time to time by the OCIA Board of Directors. However, all OCIA standards are equal to or more stringent than the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) standards.

    The OCIA is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members representing all areas of the state and two ex-officio members (the Head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at OSU and the Director of  Plant Industry and Consumer services (Oklahoma Department of Agriculture). All certification activities are conducted in close cooperation with the faculty and staff of the Oklahoma Foundation Seed Stocks (OFSS) and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at OSU. The Secretary - Treasurer of OCIA also serves as the Director of Oklahoma Pedigreed Seed Services (OCIA and OFSS) and is on the OSU faculty.

    Major crops certified in Oklahoma include wheat, peanuts, rye, and grasses. Other crops certified include  millet, okra, mungbean, triticale,  canola, cowpea, alfalfa, oats, and barley . Average acreage certified each year is about 50,000. All classes of certified seed (Foundation, Registered, and Certified) are included.