Seed World

Seed Synergy is Like Building a New Seed Plant

Todd Hyra, SeCan business manager for Western Canada and CSTA past-president

I just finished my term as president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. It was quite an experience leading the board as we move into a new phase of the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project. The White Paper is finished and we’re moving into the next stage of envisioning the new seed organization that will result from a joining together of our five dedicated seed organizations.

People have been asking me what I’ve taken away from the experience. In 2018 when I became president I said I believed I’d be one of the last presidents of the CSTA. I still believe that. As I pass the president’s torch to Georges Chaussé, I take pride in the fact that there’s now even stronger support for the formation of a new organization that will allow us to be positioned to deliver great service to our respective members as well as serving the entire industry going forward.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in the past year. I’m proud of the fact that, collectively, we’ve kept everyone working toward the end goal of maintaining mutual respect as we work to understand everyone’s needs and how a new seed organization could fulfil those needs. Quite often we can overcome barriers by stepping into each other’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective, rather than just our own.

The Seed Synergy initiative is not about building a system for the current generation. It’s for our kids and grandkids. I liken this whole Seed Synergy thing to building a new seed plant. You can only retrofit an existing plant so many times. Eventually, it’s just no longer suitable for the needs of today.

Seed Synergy is like building a new, modern seed plant — one that takes the next generations into mind. Our current seed system works OK for me. It worked great for my dad. It worked even better for his dad.

But for the next generations coming up, will it meet their needs? That’s why we’re building something new. As the world continues to change, so do the needs of the young people who will inherit our industry. They have different needs, but the fact is, they’re working within a system that was developed by people who lived in a much different time with different ways of doing business and much different technologies.

Sure, it’s difficult. There’s cost, time and a lot of energy involved. There’s also risk involved, too. But there’s also opportunity — major opportunity — and that’s what I’ve kept my eye on over the last 12 months as president.

As past-president I wish my successor all the best and look forward to what the future will bring.