Seed World

Forage Seed is Creating Legacies

Heather Kerschbaumer and family.

Every facet of the seed industry represents different things to different people. We look at what the forage sector means to six people who love it. The second one is…

Heather Kerschbaumer’s family grows forage seed and operates its own forage seed cleaning plant, as well as running an agri-retail operation. They started off with one cleaning plant, then built another. And then another. Not only does she help run the day-to-day operations of the family business, but as a past president of and one of the early champions of Forage Seed Canada, she’s figured out a magic formula to help organizations survive and thrive.

“For me, I think my biggest success is building this business that allowed me to do everything I’ve done. Here I am, just about 40 years after I got into forage seed, and still love it,” she says.

Don’t Let Things Slide

“Serving as president of Forage Seed Canada, persistence was key in keeping things together. If someone didn’t get back to me within a day, I would phone them and say, ‘So what’s the status?’ I was a bit of a hound dog I think. I would always push and if they didn’t really believe in what we were doing I would say, ‘OK, get someone else to represent you then.’ Because you have to have people who are committed. This was the national voice of the forage seed industry I was leading. I always thought of the big picture.”

Celebrate Your Achievements

“Now I’m 57, our kids are all grown up, married, gone, and now I am kind of saying, ‘OK, I did this for 20 years and now I’m kind of slowing down and going back to basics.”

Learn from your Failures

“We tried so hard for so long to raise awareness of why GM alfalfa should stay out of Western Canada for now. We tried from Day 1 to make it more known by the consumer what the consequences would be if GM alfalfa were to be grown here. When it finally comes — I don’t want it to, but I think it will — there will be hiccups. My biggest failure was not getting people to understand what the consequences could be of something like that.”
For our previous forage seed influencer, go here.