Sharon Davidson was presented the Honorary Life Member Award at the OSA Banquet on June 26, 2019.

Sharon grew up on a grass seed and row crop farm in St Paul, then attended Oregon State. Along the way she got interested in seed testing, eventually starting Agri Seed Testing 36 years ago. She is one of the most respected people there are in the industry, if not the most in her field.

Sharon served as President of the SCST in 1999. Other honors she has received are OSA Person of the year in 1999; Pacific Seed Association person of the year in 2000; Anna Lute Award in 1996 from the Front Range Seed Analysts for her devotion to the seed analysis and the seed industry; and the 2010 Seedsman of the year from the Oregon Seed Council.Sharon is also involved with the Marion County Fair Foundation to raise funds at an annual auction, so the kids don’t have to pay to participate in showing their animals.

When receiving the Anna Lute Award they said, “Sharon’s laboratory is indeed a place “fit for minds to live in… ” and her skill as an analyst is highly regarded, particularly in the turf grass sector. Though she is a business owner, she does spend more than 50% of her time testing seeds and is an effective ‘hands on’ manager. She has taught numerous seed workshops. Also noted by the selection committee was her effort to fight falsified reports in the seed trade.”

Here are some more comments from her peers and customers:

Steve Tubbs, TMI – Sharon has been dedicated to her craft for the last 36 years, she hasn’t only raised the standards for Agri Seed Testing, she has raised the standards for the entire industry. Sharon has influenced multiple associations with her multiple testing procedures including but not limited to ISTA, SCST, AOSA and the OSA.

“For her influence, dedication and integrity, there could be no better choice for honorary life member than Sharon. Congratulations!”

Dave Stimpson, OSU Seed Lab – His first specific memory was when she was giving a speech as President of the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists. Dave doesn’t remember exactly what the subject was but felt it was visionary, when others were not that. She always wants to do what is best for the industry.

Pat Miller, ASTA – “Sharon is my go-to person for seed lab questions.” You can ask a dumb question, maybe get a sigh from her on occasion, but get a great fair opinion. What has impressed Pat the most over the years is that you base your opinion on how it will affect the grower and seed industry first. And Sharon, Pat hopes to get to enjoy that glass of whiskey with you on your back porch someday and solve seed lab issues.

If you take a problem or what could be a problem to her, “She will take the bull by the horns” and have the northwest labs work together on it. – Jeff Martin, Scotts

Along those same lines, Jim Cramer, says “When there was an issue affecting the industry, you could count on Sharon to put her brain to work to solve the problem. Sharon’s attitude – You do the right thing – Because it’s the right thing.” Jim Cramer – ODA

Sharon expects nothing from her employees she doesn’t expect from herself. She does her best to give timely results without compromising integrity and quality. Over the years she has employed countless young people for summer work, many their first job. Some have made careers in the seed industry while others have found success in other fields. Often, they return to thank her for the work skills they learned over those summers. Sharon cooks lunch for the office every Friday, from winter soups along with burgers and fabulous desserts. In the off-season, there is a table in the back for the office to put puzzles together. Working for Sharon is challenging and exhausting during harvest, but also can be a lot of fun. Jane Penrose – Agri Seed Testing

For years, the USDA Seed Regulatory and Testing Division has considered Sharon’s expertise a valuable asset in helping to develop regulatory positions that affect the domestic industry, such as being invited to participate in guiding some revisions of the Federal Seed Act Regulations. Her commitment shows on the  international stage where her yearly reviews and contributions play a role in shaping US positions on ISTA rule proposals so as to not hinder or increase costs for exported seed. Ernest Allen – USDA