Seed World

Michael Patten Knows How to Equip Others for Success

Germination put out the call for nominations to identify some of our industry’s most important mentors who have played a role in helping the next generation develop their skills. We had three main criteria: they be a person who’s demonstrated proven mentorship skills; they be at least 55 years of age; and they be retired from their main seed industry job. Here’s the seventh of who we selected for 2022.

Age: 65

Location: Alberta

Known for: Being a motivator

Michael Patten has mentored many people in the ag industry — so many that it would be tough to list them all, but farmers, seed growers and seed processing personnel number among them.

“In the 12 years I have known Michael he has been a mentor to me personally by giving me a job at the Lougheed Co-op Seed Cleaning Plant starting out as the broom boy at the plant. He was great at both training and keeping a person motivated while at work, pushing me to aim higher by getting both my seed grader and pesticide applicator licenses,” says Jeremy Simpson, who now serves as manager at the seed cleaning plant in Lougheed, Alta.

“He has a willingness to help and give people a chance to grow by sharing his knowledge and giving them the tools and opportunities that they need to succeed.”

Patten, who retired in 2019 but still helps out at the Lougheed plant, says to succeed in seed cleaning, you have to have a passion for it.

“It’s not always about money; you have to look at the overall value that the job brings you. It allows you a lot of free time during the off season to do things that you don’t normally do in a nine-to-five job,” he says.

For more Mentors Who Matter visit:

Peter Marshall Showed Others How to Work

How Rick Turner Never Lost Focus on the Grower

How Daniel Perry Ushered in a Quiet Revolution of DNA-Based Seed Testing

How Cathy Breadner Makes People Want to be Seed Analysts

Plant Breeders! Do Your Work With a Collaborative Spirit, Says Harvey Voldeng

Never Stop Learning and Nourish Your Network, says Plant Breeding Legend Bryan Harvey