About MCIA


Our Mission

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is an organization dedicated to improving the productivity, profitability and competitive position of producers, processors and distributors of agricultural products by providing services to enable them to provide high-quality products to Minnesota, the United States and the World.


Who We Are

As an independent third-party, we provide certification and quality assurance services to a wide array of agricultural and food product producers and handlers. Products certified include field crop and turf seed, sod, native plant seeds, noxious weed seed free forage and mulch, identity-preserved grains for specialty markets as well as organic crops, livestock and food products.

We also provide a host of customized quality assurance services such as field inspections, seed and grain facility evaluations, as well as third party assessments and audits.  Through the Foundation seed services program we produce and distribute foundation seed and serve as the University of Minnesota’s marketing agent for crop varieties.  We strive to provide superior programs and services to meet the needs of today’s changing agricultural world.

We are a 501(c)(5) not for profit association funded by the fees charged for the services provided. We operate from our office on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. We serve our members with 14 full-time employees including three field supervisors located throughout the state. In addition, we utilize nearly 40 part-time employees to assist with field inspections and other seasonal work. We are governed by an 11 member Board of Directors elected from our membership. The membership consists of seed producers, conditioners, and others interested in high quality seed and agricultural products including organic producers and handlers.  Active in several state, national, and international organizations MCIA is active in providing leadership to our industry.


Certified seed bags of cloth, burlap and paper used since 1930.

 Early Seed Testing at MCIA

Our History

The Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) has served the agricultural industry in the Upper Midwest for over 100 years. MCIA was founded in 1903 to promote the breeding, growing and distribution of improved field crop varieties, developed at the University of Minnesota. It is recognized, by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, as the state's official seed certifying agency.  In 1997, MCIA  was designated as Minnesota's official noxious weed seed free forage and mulch certification agency and in 2002, was accredited as an organic certifier under the National Organic Program. Throughout its history, MCIA has expanded its programs and related services to meet the demands of a changing agriculture and food industry.