Seed World

Erik Dyck is Getting Ready to Take the Lead at BrettYoung Seeds

Change is an inevitable part of life, and in the dynamic world of business, it’s a force that can reshape entire organizations. For Manitoba’s BrettYoung Seeds, a company deeply rooted in agriculture and innovation, change has been brewing for quite some time. A meticulously crafted succession plan is poised to reshape the company’s leadership landscape, paving the way for a new era of growth, adaptability, and fresh perspectives.

BrettYoung’s incoming CEO Erik Dyck, who takes the helm on Sept. 1, sat down for an interview in St. John’s, Nfld. at the Seeds Canada annual conference to talk about the transition and what it means.

BrettYoung, known for its excellence in crop inputs and seed production, has been diligently working on its succession and continuity planning for the past several years. The culmination of this effort is set to unfold on Sept. 1.

At the heart of this transformation is the departure of Trevor Thiessen, a longstanding director on the board. His tenure comes to an end, creating a vacancy that symbolizes the evolution of the company. Simultaneously, Lloyd Dick, the current chairman of the board and a figure synonymous with BrettYoung’s history, is stepping down from his chairman’s role. He will take on a new role as a director on the board, bringing his wealth of knowledge to guide the company’s future.

Calvin Sontag, the active CEO, is embarking on a new chapter. He will resign from his CEO position and transition into the role of executive chairman on the board. This move underscores his dedication to the company’s vision and his desire to contribute from a strategic standpoint. As a collective, these changes ensure that key figures in BrettYoung’s journey remain central to its trajectory, albeit in different capacities.

With the reshuffling of positions, it’s Erik Dyck’s ascent to the role of CEO that draws particular attention. Erik’s journey is one of lineage and legacy. He steps into this position with a profound understanding of the company’s history, values, and potential, he notes. Erik acknowledges the weight of history and the weight of responsibility that accompanies it.

Lloyd Dick’s leadership lessons have significantly influenced BrettYoung’s ethos, Erik says. This belief in constant improvement and innovation has shaped the company’s culture, fostering a climate of perpetual growth and exploration. It’s this very spirit that propels BrettYoung into the next phase of its journey.

In terms of business priorities, BrettYoung has a multifaceted strategy in play, Erik says. With a keen focus on the agriculture sector, the company aims to offer crop inputs with unique value propositions, catering to the needs of farmers in Western Canada and northern U.S. states. This approach leverages partnerships with genetic providers to ensure top-notch products reach the market, boosting yields and sustainability.

The wholesale forage and turf business unit, being BrettYoung’s largest, is capitalizing on its Canadian roots and logistical advantages to respond to customer demands for increased volumes. Moreover, the company’s professional turf and reclamation business is expanding its footprint, serving golf courses, landscape customers, and professional turf users with an eye on growth and enhanced resources, he adds.