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eNewsletter for January 28, 2020

2020: Jackee is the New Belle

Belle_Starr2020 signifies a sad semi-departure for our co-founder, Belle Starr. After almost six years of her steadfast work keeping RMSA afloat, Belle is taking a much-needed step back and gifting herself with semi-retirement. She will continue supporting RMSA on Thursdays. Contact her at

We are so grateful for the endless heart and soul she has offered the organization, guiding us into unchartered territory since the beginning.

Thank you, Belle, for being a fearless leader and our bright Starr!

Jackee_AlstonWith Belle’s departure, we are pleased to announce Jackee Alston has joined the RMSA team. We fortunately met her and husband, Steve Alston, at the first Great American Seed Up in 2015. Steve and Jackee volunteered at both Seed Summits and their contribution to Grain School - Cottonwood was memorable (and delicious!). They both will be joining us at the Seed & Grain Experience in Buhl, Idaho.

Jackee brings to the table a background in range ecology and wildlife conservation, is a Master Gardener and botany instructor, is the co-editor of the Gardening, Etc. column in her local paper, and the founder of the Grow Flagstaff! Seed Library in Northern Arizona. Jackee will be stepping in to cover many of the tasks Belle handled. Her email is:

Welcome, Jackee!


Donate to RMSA without paying a cent!


Do you order through Amazon? Those purchases can go to work for RMSA with NO COST to you.

If you order through Amazon Smile (, The AmazonSmile Foundation, Amazon will donate 0.05% of your purchase amount to RMSA. Every item available for purchase on is also available on at the same price. This is a no brainer! 

Check out and register RMSA to be your charitable organization of choice!

We thank you for your support!


And the Winner of free admission to the Seed & Grain Experience is…


Our friend, William S., will receive free admission to the Seed and Grain Experience in Buhl, Idaho on May 3rd-8th!

Thank you to everyone who participated in identifying seeds from Betsy Samuelson’s gorgeous seed card. 

If you’re curious about the answers, here’s a quick identification guide starting from the inside of the seed card mandala and moving out: Pea, Pod Corn, Echinacea (Coneflower), Tulsi, White Sonora Wheat, Dill, Sunflower, Purple Yoeme Beans, Chard, Glass Gem Corn, Celosia, Parsley, Radish, Purple Barley, Einkorn, Marigold, Pea, Turkey Red Wheat, Bok Choi, Arugula, Melon.

The Seed & Grain Experience is a new, two-track program and we are excited to return to the Miracle Mile in Buhl, Idaho. The training is being hosted at the Owl’s Nest, an updated retreat facility where geothermal hot springs are easily accessible. Expect long, deep soaks: in knowledge, good meals prepared as a community, and in the private, healing, thermal pools. Tracks include ancient & heritage grains and basic seed saving techniques.

Across the street from the classroom and next to the Snake River, are RMSA’s grain trial plots with examples of various strategies for grain production and demonstrations of how to scale up production. Adjacent to the Owls Nest is a geothermal greenhouse operation that provides ample produce for a bioregional CSA and our week-long training.

Owls Nest AirBnB
4799 A River Road
Buhl, ID
May 3 – 8, 2020

Join the experience…


20/20 Vision

2020 marks the start of a powerful decade, and how we begin is critical to how the following years unfold.

For over the last 300 generations, human beings have been saving and sharing seeds. But in two to three generations, we have lost over 90% of the world's seed diversity.

What will it take to recover the seed diversity we have lost?

Join Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance in protecting our food resources by participating in the 20/20 campaign through Education, Networking, and Seed Stewardship.

Become part of our network of seed stewards, growers, and advocates. 

See our latest video created by former Grain School student and RMSA videographer, Oakley Moore-Anderson of Little Sure Shot Films:

Thank you, Oakley, for capturing the mission of RMSA.


Back to the Future with Heritage Grains


Director BIll McDorman and Special Projects Director Lee-Ann Hill will be presenting at the 2020 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference next month. This event is an annual opportunity for farmers, ranchers and researchers from around the Southwest to share their experiences and expertise. 

Bill will be sharing his expertise on Seed Patenting and Lee-Ann will be presenting “Back to the Future with Heritage Grains”.

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town
800 Rio Grande Blvd NW 
Albuquerque, NM 87104
February 20 – 21, 2020

Check out the link for more info on Seed Patenting.
Check out the link for more info on our Heritage Grain Trials.


Five Valleys Seed Library 


The Missoula Public Library has enjoyed a partnership with the Five Valleys Seed Library (FVSL) and looks forward to the continued growth of the seed library.

At the end of March, FVSL will be gathering at the Garden City Harvest's River Road Community Garden. Local seed saving educator, Dave Victor, will discuss beginning the seed saving journey and herbalist Elaine Sheff will share her knowledge of 'medicinal' weeds, with our very own Bill McDorman keynoting this event. FSVL will have plenty of seeds to give away and encourages the community to bring seeds to share at the event.

Five Valleys Seed Library at Garden City Harvest's River Road Garden
1657 River Rd 
Missoula, MT 59802
March 27, 2020
10:00 am 2:00 pm

Check out the Five Valleys Seed Library website for more information on upcoming events. 

Stay Connected with RMSAheart_of_idaho

For questions regarding seed saving and current seed news, contact Bill McDorman:

For questions about seed vaulting or seed libraries, contact John Caccia:

For general inquiries, contact Jackee Alston:

For questions about the Seed Stewards or Grain Trials programs, contact Lee-Ann Hill:

928-255-1125 |

Stay up to date with current seed news by checking in regularly with the RMSA Facebook page.
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Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance
PO BOX 405
Mancos, CO 81328
United States

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