About Our Company

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The Ransom Seed Laboratory, Inc. is an independent, privately held seed testing facility. Mrs. Aleta Meyr, R.S.T. (Registered Seed Technologist) is the sole stockholder and president of the operation which has served the seed industry continuously since 1933. The lab offers prompt, scientific service testing on seeds for germination, purity and all-states noxious weed exams on a wide variety of vegetables, flowers, natives, herbs and field crops. A full listing of available tests are described under Services.

Our staff includes four Registered Seed Technologists, a certification issued by the S.C.S.T. (Society of Commercial Seed Technologist). Germination and purity tests are conducted in accordance with A.O.S.A. Rules for Testing Seed; or upon request, tests can be analyzed according to International Rules or Canadian Methods and Procedures.

As the director of a small, agricultural service seed testing laboratory, it has been a joy to work closely with the seed industry, offering quality testing and problem-solving services; creating a pleasant and stimulating work environment for my employees and serving on SCST and ISTA committees to promote high industry standards.


On July 1, 1933, Elizabeth Ruth Ransom, “Betty”, opened the Ransom Seed Laboratory on Terminal Street in Los Angeles, California.  The lab offered seed testing services to the expanding south-western seed trade… 


Meet the Team

ALETA ATWATER MEYR

ALETA ATWATER MEYR

President and CEO of the lab. Aleta, has been actively involved in seed testing, lab management, training and teaching, and several related committees since 1968. After graduating from U.C.S.B. in 1970, Aleta went on to receive her Registered Seed Technologist, R.S.T, certificate in 1971. Work for the Society includes Active Co-Chairperson for the Joint SCST, AOSA Flower Seed Committee from 1983 to 2003, being a member of the ISTA Flower Seed Committee, and accepting the Director at Large position for the SCST from 2002 until 2005. She was awarded the SCST Meritorious Service Award in 1994.

"I enjoy my days at the lab, always full of challenges and invigorating projects. The lab tests a wide variety of species, and we try to keep up with new technologies, ever-changing workloads, in-house quality control and employee training and relationships. Each day adds to my knowledge and enjoyment of the plant kingdom and to my sense of personal fulfillment. Many thanks to the seed Industry for continual support and for giving me the opportunity to maintain an independent seed testing laboratory. It has been an adventure to carry on the business that my mother, Betty Ransom Atwater, started in 1933."


SUSAN ALVAREZ

SUSAN ALVAREZ

Lab manager. Sue, earned her B.A. in Environmental Biology from UC Santa Barbara in 1982, and her M.S. in Horticulture from UC Davis in 1984. She first started working at Ransom Seed Laboratory in 1985 and became a Registered Seed Technologist in 1994. In 2015, Sue became the Laboratory Manager for Ransom. She received the 2018 Merit Award from the Association of Official Seed Analyst.

“I have been working in seed testing for over 30 years, most of them at Ransom Seed Lab. Currently I am vice-chair of the ISTA Rules Committee, and active in many AOSA/SCST committees; I am also a member of the ISTA Moisture and the ISTA Nomenclature Technical Committees,. I am very fortunate to be part of the Ransom Seed Lab team and the greater seed testing community.”


DOREEN MAULHARDT

DOREEN MAULHARDT

Our administrative assistant joined the lab in 1984 with an Associate in Science Degree in Executive Administration. She has updated her skills to include certification in various computer application and graphics programs, and has enjoyed taking part in the process of developing the company brochure, posters, journal publications, and website. 

“Formerly, I worked for a bank, a law office, and an international computer company; but I find it infinitely more rewarding to be a ‘member’ of the Ransom Seed Lab, where efficiency, dedication and support are expressed by the entire staff.”  


MICHAEL ABERLE

MICHAEL ABERLE

Michael received his B.A. in Biology from University of San Diego. and a M.S. in Phytopathology from UC Riverside in 2000. He began working for Ransom in 2001 and became a Registered Seed Technologist in 2007. Currently he performs many TZ tests on horticultural species and vigor tests. He is a co-chair of the AOSA/SCST TZ subcommittee.


MARIBEL PENA

MARIBEL PENA

Maribel joined the lab staff in the fall of 2006. Her job includes purity and germination testing, and assisting in laboratory management. In May, 2019, she became a Registered Seed Technologist and has participated in seed schools in Iowa, North Carolina, and Idaho.

“I enjoy being part of this team at Ransom Seed Lab. It is a perfect working environment; friendly people and a great ocean view.”


ANTONIA CARMONA DE PENA

ANTONIA CARMONA DE PENA

Antonia has been with the lab since 1997. Her duties include cleaning and planting the seed. 

“It has been a great experience for me to learn about all the different types of seed. I really enjoy the people I work with and the way they make me feel welcomed into the group.” 


ERIKA IBARRA

ERIKA IBARRA

Erika started working for Ransom Seed Lab in 2016. Her first job was working as a seed lab tech in 2010. She has eight years’ experience as a lab tech. Her job at Ransom Seed Lab currently consists of planting, evaluating and seed counts. She is also learning how to enter samples into the data managing software program, Pure Harvest.

“I enjoy what I do and look forward to learning more about my job in the future.”


GIL PENA

GIL PENA

Gil started working for the lab in 1997 and has had the opportunity to get the feel of different types of duties. Gil usually evaluates and gives the seeds the final count. He also helps to arrange the evaluation schedule.

“This has been a wonderful experience for me, since I love working with all plants and flowers. The people I work with have really been a big part in the happiness of my job. Whenever we need each other, we are there. Especially Aleta, who has given me the opportunity to attend conventions, and really understands the importance of my job.”


MANUELA IBARRA

MANUELA IBARRA

Manuela has been an employee of Ransom Seed Lab since April of 2016. She plants and evaluates various seedlings, as well as performs physical purity. She has been a lab technician since 1985.  With all these years of experience, she has learned a great deal and continues to look forward to learning more.

“In my previous job experiences I was given the responsibility to be a leader and to show employees how to do their work efficiently, and that to me is an achievement well earned. What I enjoy most about my job is working with different crops and seeds, but most importantly, feeling independent about doing my work freely.”


ROMELIA MORALES

ROMELIA MORALES

Romelia began working for Ransom Seed Lab in September of 2017 after working for another seed laboratory for nine years. Her job includes planting the vast variety of crops we receive into our lab. She is also learning how to evaluate first counts.

“I love coming to work every day and enjoy planting different kinds of seeds.”