Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) provides a diverse offering of certification and quality assurance services to a wide array of agricultural and food product producers and handlers. Products certified by MCIA include field crop seed, turf seed, sod, native plant seed, noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch, identity-preserved grains for specialty grain markets, as well as numerous organic crops, livestock, and food products. MCIA also provides customized quality assurance services such as field inspections, seed and grain facility evaluations, as well as other third-party audit and on-site evaluations. MCIA produces and distributes Foundation seed of publicly developed crop varieties and serves as the marketing agent for licensing varieties developed at the University of Minnesota.
MCIA is a 501(c)(5) not-for-profit association funded by service fees. MCIA’s offices are located on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. MCIA serves its nearly 1,000 members with 18 full-time employees, including 3 field supervisors located at various locations throughout the state. In addition, more than 20 part-time employees and contractors assist with field inspections and other seasonal work. MCIA is governed by an 11-member board of directors elected from its membership.
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.
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 to crop producers throughout the state. A directory of members was first published in 1906 and the publication of a list of those with inspected and approved seed began in 1912. In 1955, the Minnesota Seed Law was amended to recognize MCIA as the official seed certifying agency of Minnesota.
Over the years, MCIA has expanded its programs and related services to meet the needs of its members and the demands of a changing agricultural and food industry. It was formally designated as the official certification agency in Minnesota for noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch in 1997 and was accredited as an organic certifier under the National Organic Program in 2002.
As an independent third party, MCIA strives to provide superior programs and services to meet the needs of today’s changing agricultural world.