By Debbie Coffey
This is in memory of our friend, Steve Hixon, who was one of the last “seed cleaners” in the United States.
Steve was a real American hero. He stood up against Monsanto for many years. He spoke out. He informed the public about the ways that agricultural technology companies had appropriated public resources and filed patents from seed germ plasm from (taxpayer funded) public universities.
Seed cleaners played an important role in helping farmers save their seeds for planting the next year. They have equipment that sifts the plant materials and “clean” it so that the seeds are separated out and can be given back to farmers to use the next season (at less cost than Monsanto’s seeds). Steve designed and built several versions of the seed cleaning machine he used. Seed cleaners have been nearly wiped out since the introduction of GMO proprietary seeds.
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