Seed School Teacher Training for Agricultural Professionals

Are you a cooperative extension agent, NRCS staffer, or ag professional looking for ways to bring seed saving to your farming communities? This FREE training is for you!

Seed School Teacher Training for Agricultural Professionals
October 21–26, 2018

Posner Center, Denver, Colorado

Imagine if county agricultural extension agents could teach seed saving to farmers in their communities. So much about our food system could change—and quickly. Seed security could soon become the norm in the Mountain West. This is the vision behind RMSA's new Seed School Teacher Training for Agricultural Professionals course. This unique educational event is tailored specifically to cooperative extension agents, Natural Resources Conservation Service staff, and others whose work directly supports farmers.

Participants in this course will receive training based on RMSA's acclaimed Seed School curriculum with a special emphasis on incorporating seed saving techniques into small- to medium-scale farming operations. Ag professionals will learn how to teach seed saving methods to the farmers they serve, enabling them to boost farm profitability, improve soil health, and enhance regional food security. By sharing this knowledge with local producers, course participants will help create successful models of on-farm seed saving that benefit both their local economies and environments.

If you are an agricultural professional in the Mountain West (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) or additional states/territories of the Western SARE region (Alaksa, Arizona, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Micronesia, Nevada, North Marianas Islands, Oregon, and Washington), you are eligible to attend this course.

Registration fees are fully covered by grant funding from the USDA's Western SARE program. Spaces are limited for this unique opportunity. 

Click here to download an application.

Once your application has been approved, click here to complete your registration.


Course Details

Seed School Teacher Training for Agricultural Professionals is based on RMSA's standard Seed School curriculum and will offer its customary seed saving program as a foundation. In addition, participants will be trained in leadership skills and seed education strategies specially tailored to support their work serving farmers. Students will learn from our experienced instructors how to deliver a powerful day-long workshop rooted in ancient seed traditions and modern science. Farmer-focused elements of the training will address seed saving aspects of scale, timing, and space particular to agricultural production systems. Graduates from this program will be able to confidently and effectively impart seed saving knowledge using all the best techniques we have developed through teaching dozens of Seed Schools nationwide.

Topics include: genetics, botany, breeding, harvesting, and more. Full Seed School course details are available here.

Participants will also receive free access to RMSA's Seed School Online program and are strongly encouraged to complete the course before attending the training.

Facilitated by Bill McDorman (Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance), Lee-Ann Hill (Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance) and special guest instructors. Click here for Seed School instructor bios.


This course will be held at the Posner Center Denver for International Development, an inspiring organization that brings together local groups working to solve global poverty issues. Located in a modern and beautiful 25,000 square foot facility in Denver's Curtis Park neighborhood, the Posner Center will provide an ideal, comfortable setting to dive deeply into seed teacher training. We are thrilled to be collaborating with some of the leading organizations in Denver around sustainable food systems, and to be hosted at this state-of-the-art, progressive center.

Posner Center for International Development
1031 33rd St
Denver, Colorado 80205 

Our Instructors

Bill McDorman

Bill McDorman is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. He is a seed saver, writer, and educator based in Cornville, Arizona. In his nearly 30 years of seed experience, he has co-founded a number of nonprofit projects and seed companies including the Down Home Project, Garden City Seeds, Seeds Trust, High Altitude Gardens, the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, Seed School, and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. He is author of the book Basic Seed Saving. Bill and his wife Belle Starr were formerly directors of Native Seeds/SEARCH, a seed conservation organization serving the Greater Southwest.



Lee-Ann Hill

Lee-Ann holds a MA in Cultural Ecology from Prescott College where she studied traditional land management with an eye on food systems. After conducting research in New Mexico and working on organic farms in Costa Rica, Lee-Ann currently resides in southwest Colorado where she runs a CSA (community supported agriculture) program at Laughing Wolf farm integrating seed adaptation, water conservation, and landscape regeneration. Lee-Ann is also a graduate of RMSA's Seed School Teacher Training and Grain School programs. As Special Projects Coordinator for RMSA, she produced the Mountain West Seed Summit and oversees the Seed Stewards program, Heritage Grain Trials and performs research for RMSA.


Casey O’Leary

Casey O'Leary is a self-proclaimed "seed freak" who runs Earthly Delights Farm in Boise and co-founded the Snake River Seed Cooperative. Her Snake River Seed project includes a seed producer's co-op and seed library, organizes seed-related art projects and events, and teaches classes and workshops on seed saving. Casey is a board member of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance.




Lynda Garvin


Lynda Garvin joined the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service as the Agriculture Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator for Sandoval County in 2013. Born and raised in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, she earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Antioch College in Yellow Springs. After serving 5 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso and Jamaica, she earned a MSc in Crop Protection from Colorado State University. She spent the next 15 years managing food production and community development projects in Africa, the Caribbean, and South Pacific. She is passionate about promoting permaculture and all things seed related.



For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Who We Are

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening seed and food security in our region.

Our mission is to assure a diverse and abundant supply of seeds for the Rocky Mountain West through networking, education and helping establish community-based models of seed stewardship.



Take Action


More About Us



  belle (@)
  PO Box 4736 • Ketchum, ID 83340