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The Tennessee Crop Improvement Association is an incorporated, non-profit organization of seed growers. State legislation designates the Association as the official seed-certifying agency in Tennessee. Requirements for certification of seeds conform to the Federal Seed Certification Regulations and the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies. The Association works in cooperation with seed growers, seedsmen, the State Department of Agriculture, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Agricultural Extension Service, and Agricultural Experiment Stations.


Members are primarily persons or firms growing seed on their own land, rented land or contracting for the production of seed and who make certified seed production a definite part of their farming operation. However, any person or firm interested in promoting the objectives of the Association may become an associate member.


The Association maintains headquarters at 3205-C Hwy 46 South Dickson TN 37055, and renders the following services:


To maintain and make available to the public sources of high quality seeds and propagating materials of superior varieties so grown and distributed as to insure genetic purity and identity.

Seed certification is accomplished by means of inspection of fields, seed analysis and regulations for checking production, harvesting and cleaning of each seed lot.

Varietal purity is the first consideration, but seed quality factors such as germination, inert matter and mixtures of other crop and weed seeds are important.

Tennessee seed certification is designed, therefore, to maintain not only the genetic purity and identity of crop varieties but also provides safe standards for germination and mechanical quality factors.


The function of certification is to provide a process by which to propagate or increase a variety through a system of known generations by which the genetic purity is maintained. New varieties are released by either a public (University or USDA) or private entity.
The Association renders the following services:

1. Publishes and distributes the Tennessee Seed Certification Standards. This publication complies with the minimum genetic standards required by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies and federal seed law.

2. Maintains a record of origin or pedigree records of each grower member’s seed.

3. Provides its members with sources of foundation class seed.

4. Provides field inspection, source for laboratory testing, printing of certification and analysis tags, labeling stencils and bags for marketing seed.

5. Gathers semi-annually a Certified Seed Directory listing acreage of seed by variety and class available from its members to be posted on the TCIA website.

6. Directs an educational and advertising program concerning the merits of certified seed.

7. Holds annual training schools for field inspectors of all seed crops before inspection work begins.

8. Holds annual training schools for seed inspectors who draw the official samples of certified seed for laboratory testing. They also determine if seed lots are bagged and labeled according to certification regulations.

9. Conducts grow-out tests on a portion of the official sample of foundation, registered, and certified seed lots of soybeans and small grains. These tests are conducted at the Knoxville and Milan Experiment Stations to evaluate how well the member maintains genetic purity of his seed increase.

10. The basic function of the seed certification program is to serve Tennessee Agriculture.

11. Tennessee Crop Improvement Association does not buy nor sell certified seed.

12. Tennessee certified seed is distributed through the established seed marketing channels.

13. Production of certified seed is increasing in Tennessee. This reflects an increased acceptance and use of certified seed by both seed dealers and farmers.

This progress also reflects a measure of the service by the seed certification program.


©2008 Tennessee Certified Genuine Seed Quality