Seed World

CSTA January | Germination 2011


Attracting the “Future Giants” of the Seed Industry A Key Strategic Priority for the Canadian Seed Trade Association

A recent study done for the Canadian Seed Trade Association by Bryan Harvey of the University of Saskatchewan found that at a five per cent turnover, the seed industry requires over 600 new entrants every year.

Despite this requirement, the number of graduates from colleges, universities and other agriculture and seed programs has been steadily declining.

CSTA’s board of directors has made expanding the size and level of training of the talent pool available to our industry a key strategic priority. The CSTA External Relations Workgroup has taken on the task, and the first steps have been taken on this most important strategic goal.

A new, fast-paced video has been produced to introduce the seed industry as a “career where you can make a difference.” The video made its debut at a career fair at the University of Manitoba, followed by career fairs at Guelph University and the University of Saskatchewan. It has been made available to CSTA members, who have used it with school and youth groups, and it will soon be published on YouTube.

CSTA’s objective is to increase awareness of all the opportunities that are available in the seed industry. The focus is on young individuals who are considering their first careers, and those who may be considering career changes. “This project has even surprised some of us in the seed industry,” says Stephen Denys, chair of the CSTA External Relations Workgroup. “The careers available are incredibly diverse: from plant breeding and genetics to marketing and legal affairs, communications, logistics and international trade. We just need to get that message out to people who are considering career options, and we are hoping that this new campaign will help us to do that.”

The video links back to a new section on the CSTA’s website. The section provides more detailed information on the careers available in three broad categories: 
• Research and Agronomy
• Production and Supply Chain Logistics
• Business and Marketing

In each section, there are profiles of people who have chosen seed as a career. They talk about why they have chosen seed as a career, and the advice they would give to people who are making career choices.