Monica Klass, general manager for the Alberta Seed Processors, sits down with Marc Zienkiewicz to talk about why she joined the board of Seeds Canada and the progress made over the past 18 months in building a national seed organization. Interview conducted at the Seeds Canada annual meeting in Winnipeg earlier this month.
On how Alberta Seed Processors became a part of Seeds Canada: “Part of the heritage of how Alberta Seed Processors came to be involved in Seeds Canada is related to the legacy organizations. Backing up a couple years, we became a member of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. That decision was made shortly after I became general manager. As we looked at what we were doing in Alberta, and looking at future opportunities and the necessity to be connected with a larger ag industry, there was a feeling amongst our board of directors at that time that being connected to the larger industry and knowing what was going on in the industry was very, very important to the association as a whole. We were also on the board of the Canadian Seed Institute, which is also one of the Seeds Canada legacy organizations. We had a sort of dual connection, and when Seeds Canada was formed, they had a mandate to include all sectors of the seed industry, including processors.”
On what she hopes to accomplish as part of the board: “When you sit on an organizational board, the first sort of order of business mark is to look after the organization. Bringing the wants and needs of the Alberta Seed Processors into Seeds Canada is really a secondary reason for being on the board. The primary reason is to build Seeds Canada into an organization that really is national in scope and really does listen to all sectors of the industry. So that’s job number one.
“The secondary benefit to Alberta Seed Processors is bringing our perspective onto the board because, of course, some of the legacy organizations tended to be focused more on the business side of seed and not so much on processing. I started out in this business and have stayed because I look for opportunities to learn and expand. The personal development that I’ve gleaned from being part of the Seeds Canada board has been vast.”