The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has announced a new slate of leaders for its 2008-2009 officers, board of directors, as well as several association divisions and committees.

Elected chairman is Kelly Keithly, founder and president of Keithly-Williams Seeds of Holtville, Calif. Keithly brings to ASTA extensive leadership knowledge of the vegetable seed business.

Keithly previously served as president of the California Seed Association. He also served as ASTA’s chairman of the Vegetable and Flower Seed Division, vice president of the Western Region, and director at large. Keithly resides in Yuma, Ariz., with his wife Cheryl.

The ASTA’s new vice chairman is Jerry Monk, president of Texas-based Kelly Green Seeds and Warner Seeds. John Nelsen, president and CEO of RiceTec Inc., Alvin, Texas, is the second vice chairman.

Founded in 1883, the ASTA, located in Alexandria, Va., is one of the oldest trade organizations in the United States. Its membership consists of approximately 750 companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America.

As an authority on plant germplasm, ASTA advocates science and policy issues of industry importance. Its mission is to enhance the development and free movement of quality seed worldwide.