The Nebraska Crop Improvement Association (NCIA) is a non-profit educational and service organization which was founded in 1902. It is the designated agency of the University of Nebraska that is authorized as the seed certifying agency for Nebraska. The Association policies are administered by a ten-member Board of Directors. Seven Directors are elected from the active membership. The remaining three Directors are Ex-Officio representing the Nebraska Seed Trade Association, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The officers are elected annually by the Board. The Association headquarters are located at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Certified seed was first produced in Nebraska during 1920. However, it was not until 1931 that seed approved for certification by Nebraska Crop Growers Association was given official status by the state seed law. That year, the Nebraska House of Representatives passed H.R. 67 which provide for certification of seeds and plant parts intended for propagation or sale in Nebraska and specified that the certification program would be on a self-supporting basis. The Nebraska Crop Growers Association was designated as the official agency for certification of seed crops with the exception of seed potatoes. The NCGC's name was changed to the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association in 1942.
Certification of seed quality in Nebraska is based on both genetic and mechanical standards. All Nebraska certified seed must meet minimum standards for genetic purity, germination, and mechanical purity. A full-service seed laboratory was established within the Association in 1943. Currently, the Association is the only Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies member whose seed laboratory component is recognized by the Association of Official Seed Analysts as an official member.
The Nebraska Crop Improvement and its members have a strong tradition of service. However, the Association is also receptive to change to meet the needs of its members - which enables response to meet customer needs while continuing to improve the quality and diversity of seed planted and services provided.
268 Plant Science Hall, P.O. BOX 830911, Lincoln, NE 68583-0911