Seed World

Giant Biographies | January 2013


Giant Biographies

giant_bios_kofi_jan2013Kofi Agblor joined the Crop Development Centre as managing director in January of 2012. His role is to oversee its business operations as well as maintain existing relationships and develop new collaborations. Previous to his current role, Agblor was the director of research for the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers from April of 2005 to December of 2011. In that time frame, he was pivotal in establishing the Pulse Research Network, which brought together researchers from plant breeding to food and nutritional sciences and clinical evaluation from several Canadian universities and federal and provincial research institutions, to undertake leading edge research with funding from the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He later provided leadership for the establishment of the Pulse Science Cluster with funding from AAFC and administered by SPG. Agblor has extensive knowledge of innovation systems and science and technology road mapping techniques. Born and raised in a farming community in Ghana, Agblor and his family moved to Saskatchewan in 1998.

giant_bios_stephen_jan2013Stephen Denys is president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association for 2012 to 2013 and has been involved as a member of the CSTA board of directors for six years. Denys was born and raised on a cash crop and vegetable farm in southwestern Ontario. He has spent his career in agriculture working in the seed and crop protection sectors. In addition to his role at CSTA, he is currently vice-president of sales and marketing for Pride Seeds, which produces and markets corn, soybean and forage seed for producers across Canada. Denys also operates a family cash crop farm, located near Chatham, Ont., with his wife, Anne, and three children.

giant_bios_sarah_jan2013Sarah Foster became a qualified seed analyst in purity and germination in 1977 at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge, United Kingdom. She worked for Charles Sharpes and Company in England for six years before immigrating to Canada in 1984 after seeing a letter written by the president of the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada calling for seed analysts in Canada. Foster’s career in Canada began with the United Grain Growers in Edmonton, but she opened 20/20 Seed Labs in 1989, choosing the name to reflect perfect vision and establishing the company with accreditation in all grade tables. Since then, 20/20 has become one of Canada’s leading laboratories offering a wide range of services, including International Seed Testing Association accreditation. Over the years, Foster has been active with CSAAC and held several executive positions becoming Canada’s first national president in 1994. She is one of Canada’s trainers for Authorized Establishments teaching grading for crop tables 1 through 6. Foster is also an accredited crop inspector and accredited for smut in wheat and barley as well as ascochyta in pulse crops.

giant_bios_dave_jan2013David Hansen joined Canterra Seeds as chief executive officer in October of 2009, and was appointed president shortly after. Hansen is an industry veteran with experience working in Canada and internationally. His background uniquely prepared him to lead Canterra Seeds’ efforts to be a leader in the Canadian seed industry. Prior to joining Canterra Seeds, Hansen was the North Asia Pacific regional manager for Agrotain International, developing new market opportunities in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. From early 2003 until late 2008, Hansen lived and worked in China, managing the cotton seed business for Delta and Pine Land and Monsanto Far East. His 30-plus years of seed and agribusiness experience also includes numerous sales and marketing and management positions with Advanta Seeds and its predecessors Zeneca Seeds, ICI Seeds and Garst Seeds.

giant_bios_jeff_jan2013Jeff Reid is the general manager of SeCan, Canada’s largest distributor of certified seed. As general manager, Reid is responsible for ensuring that the evolving vision of SeCan’s board of directors translates into operational programs that promote the success of SeCan’s 700-plus member seed growers and processors across Canada. Reid has spent the past 25 years working in the seed industry in various roles—from research and development to sales and marketing management. Reid is a graduate of the University of Guelph, and has been a director on many seed and agriculture-related organizations. Based in Ottawa, he is past president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association and currently vice-chair of the Canadian Seed Institute.

giant_bios_roy_jan2013Roy van Wyk became the executive director of the Canadian Seed Institute in February of 2011. Previous to joining CSI, van Wyk worked for the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association as operations manager since 2001, where he worked with the CSGA staff to appraise and certify over 17,000 pedigreed seed crop production fields, over 1.1 million acres, on an annual basis. Previous to that, van Wyk held management positions at local Ontario seed companies Advantage Seed Growers and Processors Inc. and Hensall District Cooperate Inc. He has also worked in the ginseng industry in British Columbia. Van Wyk grew up in Arnprior, a small town west of Ottawa. While he didn’t grow up on a farm, the lure of the farm was in his blood—he inherited his passion for agriculture from his father and mentor who grew up in the Netherlands working in the family orchards. Van Wyk worked on a dairy farm from the age of 12, before eventually obtaining a bachelor of science in horticulture and business from the University of Guelph.