Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP) is a non-profit corporation and direct support organization of the University of Florida. FFSP works closely with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (FAES), an agricultural and natural resources research program of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
The purpose of FFSP is as follows:
- To make available annually to Florida farmers and producers of crop seed and nursery stock, foundation seed stock of the best known varieties adaptable to Florida climate and soils in adequate quantities and at reasonable prices.
- To cooperate with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Florida in making available to residents of Florida new and improved varieties of crop seed and nursery stock and to obtain such improved seed stocks by purchase, barter, lease, or gift; to propagate and increase the same through any agency and particularly by contracting with producers and institutions; and to disseminate such increased stocks to its members and others.
- To receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of the University of Florida.
FFSP was established as a non-profit corporation in 1943 as the Florida Crop Improvement Association. In 1957, the Florida Crop Improvement Association was renamed Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. In 1973, FFSP became a Direct Support Organization of the University of Florida, to receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of UF.
FFSP produces, processes, and sells Foundation seed stocks of UF’s peanut, small grain (oat, triticale, rye), and corn varieties. FFSP’s seed processing facilities have the capability of drying, shelling, processing, and storing in excess of 4 million pounds of seed.
FFSP also manages the intellectual property, including U.S. Plant Patents, USDA PVP Certificates, International Plant Breeder’s Rights Certificates, and Trademarks, for new and improved plant varieties released by the University of Florida. Once intellectual property protection is obtained, FFSP manages the technology transfer of the released varieties. FFSP licenses plant varieties to growers throughout Florida, the United States, and abroad, collects royalties on sales and usage of the varieties, and then redistributes royalty revenue in accordance with the UF Intellectual Property Policy. UF/IFAS and FFSP have a unique royalty distribution policy, whereby 70% of all royalty revenue is reinvested directly into the respective breeding program responsible for the cultivar’s development. This policy is one of the most competitive in the nation, and augments the FAES’ mission to provide new plant varieties to the State of Florida and the world.
FFSP is managed by a Board of Directors, consisting of 13 members, 9 of which are held by representatives from the diverse agricultural industries which are served by the mission of FFSP. 1 seat is held by the UF/IFAS Dean for Research, 1 seat is held by the UF/IFAS Dean for Extension, and 2 seats are appointed by the President of UF and the UF Board of Trustees.