In the summer of 1940, an informal meeting of Idaho seed industry people was held to discuss the formation of a seed association. During the next few years, this idea was discussed by various seedmen, but it wasn’t until August 9, 1944, that Mr. Carl Bowden called a meeting in Boise, Idaho, to actually form an association comprised of field and garden seed dealers from Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
It was felt that communication and cooperation among members of the seed industry was necessary to fully understand and comply with government restrictions and regulations imposed by the OPA (Office of Price Administration). Thirty-five seedmen representing 22 firms attended this organizational meeting. It was decided to form a temporary organization to function immediately. Art Steele was elected president; other officers included a vice-president, a secretary-treasurer and two directors. This group was charged with the responsibility of drawing up by-laws for the new organization.
At the December 1944 meeting in Boise, it was decided to apply for membership in the American Seed Trade Association. The first combined meeting of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Seed Association and the Pacific Seed Association was held in Sun Valley in late May 1948.
The Association held its summer meeting at Shore Lodge, McCall, Idaho, for the first time in June 1949. (It must have snowed because summer meetings were held at Sun Valley for a good number of years after that.)
At the mid-winter meeting held in Boise, Idaho, in December 1954, Jim Shields, Jr., pointed out the need for a seed trade committee to work with the Idaho Crop Improvement Association and the University of Idaho Extension Service. Thus the Idaho Seed Council was formed and its constitution approved at the Sun Valley meeting in June 1955. Art Steele was the first president.
In December 1957, the Seed Council held their first seed school in Boise the day prior to mid-winter meetings. 205 people attended. The first trade show in connection with the seed school was held in 1960.
In 1998 suggestions began to surface that there was too much duplication between the Seed Council and IEOSA. Truman Kohtz was appointed to chair a committee to review these concerns. As a result of the committee’s work, and after review by the board, a recommendation to merge the Seed Council into IEOSA was brought to the membership at the 1999 summer meeting in McCall, Idaho. This recommendation was unanimously approved and became effective immediately.