Why Should Consumers Care About Certified Seed?

by | May 10, 2023 | Seed Speaks

For most consumers, food is just something they buy in the grocery store. They don’t always consider all the work that went into producing that food from the truck driver that drove it to the store, to the factory worker who oversaw the production line for it, to the farmer who grew the ingredients, to the seed grower who produced the seed for the farmer. At the end of the day there wouldn’t be food on grocery store shelves if it wasn’t for seed production.

On the May 17 episode of Seed Speaks, we’re taking a closer look at why consumers should care about certified seed and all the work that goes into producing it. We’re joined by Andrew Dawson, president of the Ontario Seed Growers Association; Sarah Wilbanks, CEO of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA); and Todd Hyra, business manager for Western Canada with SeCan.

Dawson grew up in Peterborough County, Ont. on a mixed farm. Following graduation from the University of Guelph, he moved to eastern Ontario to farm. Dawson and his wife Julie purchased their current farm, RiverRun Farms, in 2004. They now producing over 750 acres of crops including corn, soybeans and wheat, while also growing strawberries and running a beef cattle operation. Dawson has been a pedigreed seed grower for 15 years.

Wilbanks holds a bachelor of science in agricultural education from Clemson University, a master of science in agricultural communications and leadership from the University of Georgia, and a PhD in animal science from Clemson University. She previously worked as the assistant director of regulatory services at Clemson University where she led the seed certification program among other regulatory programs for South Carolina. As the CEO of AOSCA, she oversees a wide range of programs including the American national variety review board, certified seed, quality assurance, and identity preserved programs.

Hyra grew up on a mixed grain and beef farm in northwestern Manitoba. He attended the University of Manitoba where he obtained a degree and diploma in agriculture. Hyra has worked in various positions in the seed industry including as a research agronomist, research and development manager, product manager, and seed business manager. He has served as business manager for Western Canada with SeCan since 2007. SeCan is the largest supplier of certified seed to Canadian farmers and has is a major supporter of plant breeding in Canada.

Join us on May 17 at 12 p.m. CDT on Seed World’s Seed World’s Facebook,YouTube and LinkedIn pages to watch the discussion.

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