Veteran breeder joins Johnny’s Selected SeedsJohn Navazio has left the Organic Seed Alliance after a decade as its senior scientist to take over management of the plant breeding program at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine.

Company founder and CEO Rob Johnston has worked with Navazio in the industry for 30 years and described him in a news release as having “always been avidly interested in what the very most progressive, most innovative direct-market growers are striving for.”

Navazio has a doctorate in plant breeding from the University of Wisconsin, where he has served as an extension specialist in organic seeds.

“The foundational field work carried out by Navazio has helped to enhance the genetic breadth in vegetable crops to improve their nutritional value, flavor, texture, nutrient-scavenging capability, weed competitiveness, disease resistance and cold tolerance,” according to the release.

Navazio said in the release he finds work with growers particularly rewarding.

“Most of my life’s work has been in helping growers meet the challenges they face by breeding varieties from robust, genetically diverse germplasm that we identify as being better adapted to a range of environmental demands and under cropping systems that use less intensive inputs,” he said in the release.

Previously Navazio was a senior breeder at the Alf Christianson Seed Co. before co-founding the Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, Wash. Washington State University appointed him as an extension specialist for organic seed production. He was on the faculty of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, and Prescott College in Arizona, where he taught courses in ecological agriculture and plant breeding for sustainable systems.