The History of Georgia Seed Development

Georgia Seed Development is responsible for overseeing the foundation plant material production in Georgia. GSD—a nonprofit, self-supporting organization—provides economic support for new business opportunities that help keep agriculture as Georgia’s number one industry.

In 1959, recognizing the immense value of the agricultural industry to the state, the Georgia General Assembly created GSD to provide leadership in developing commercially viable plant materials. GSD was designated by the Georgia Legislature to serve as the “recipient of Breeder seed from the University of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations.”   We were tasked to produce Foundation seed and promote varieties developed and released from the University of Georgia. 

In the 1980s, universities in the United States obtained the “rights of ownership” of intellectual property created by their scientists.  This included the ownership of plant varieties.  In 1997 the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF) and GSD developed an agreement on the licensing and distribution of plant varieties developed by University of Georgia plant breeders.  GSD now manages royalty assessment and fee collection for plant varieties licensed by UGARF/GSD.

In 2008 the Georgia Legislature amended the law creating GSD to allow us to operate as a nonprofit public corporation.  This gave us the opportunity to expand our business model and to provide our services and marketing expertise to clients in other states.