About MCIA


Our Mission

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) 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, MCIA provides certification and quality assurance services to a wide array of agricultural and food product producers and handlers. Products certified by MCIA include field crop and turf seed, sod, native plant seeds, noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch, and identity-preserved grains for specialty markets, as well as organic crops, livestock, and food products.

MCIA also provides a host of customized quality assurance services such as field inspections and seed and grain facility evaluations, as well as third-party assessments and audits. Through its Foundation Seed Services program MCIA produces and distributes foundation seed and serves as the University of Minnesota’s marketing agent for crop varieties. MCIA strives to provide superior programs and services to meet the needs of today’s changing agricultural world.

MCIA is a 501(c)(5) not-for-profit association funded by fees charged for the services it provides. MCIA operates from its office on the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. MCIA serves its members with 18 full-time employees, including three field supervisors located throughout the state. In addition, MCIA utilizes over 20 part-time employees to assist with field inspections and other seasonal work. MCIA is governed by an 11-member board of directors elected from its 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 provides leadership to the agricultural industry.


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

 Early Seed Testing at MCIA

Our History

The Minnesota Crop Improvement Association 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.