Seed World

Creating New Training Opportunities for Seed Graders

Seed grading is a hugely important part of our industry. In normal times, I travel around offering the seed grader course and subsequent exam to people who want or need it. But these are not normal times, and due to travel restrictions, this is not an option.

In the absence of a normal travel itinerary, I had to innovate. I was inspired by musicians who, due to the inability to go on tour, have begun broadcasting their live concerts via the internet in a “virtual tour” format. A few audience members are allowed in, but access is restricted to only a handful of people who have to wear masks and practice physical distancing at all times during the show.

There are even “live virtual audience” options where audience members can beam themselves in via webcam and are shown on TV screens positioned in front of the stage, as if they were there watching the performers in person. It’s all very interactive and is the next best thing to really being there.

I thought, why not do the same thing and bring the exam to our lab if I can’t travel to offer it?

So, on weekends, we offer a course that we designed ourselves to replace the “travelling roadshow” version that we are unable to do right now.

The pandemic has been a challenge for people in all sorts of positions, especially people who require training. We’re currently designing an online course, where you can do a lot of the prep work ahead of time.

Inspired by that “live virtual audience” idea, we may actually send the students samples in the mail that they can analyze at home and then communicate the results back to us via Zoom or over the phone.

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and we’re not letting the pandemic stop us from offering the training people need.

For more info on our in-person course, contact me at and stay tuned for information on the virtual option. Even during a pandemic, you can still see me perform live!

—Morgan Webb is president and senior seed analyst at Seed Check Technologies