Seed World

Why the CSGA Experienced Seed Grower Program will Make You Better at Your Job

When I first entered the seed sector, I was fortunate to have the guidance of my father-in-law, Calvin Pitura, who had extensive experience in the field. Having a mentor was invaluable as I navigated my way through the complexities of seed production.

Tom Greaves, President, Pitura Seeds

However, not everyone has that person to guide them, and it became apparent to me that there was a gap in the educational resources available to both new and existing seed growers.

When the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) launched CSGA Learn, their online seed learning platform, I quickly enrolled — the sector needed a comprehensive seed learning resource. I was personally eager to get started.

The program has eight courses covering various aspects of the Canadian seed sector, from certification to processing and selling. Each course has field crop photos, videos, glossaries, and reference links.

My advice to anyone considering the program is simple: it’s a must-do. No matter how long you’ve been in the business, a refresher is always a good idea. The Experienced Seed Grower Program reinforces essential knowledge and highlights areas we may have forgotten about. It provides a deeper understanding of certification requirements, best management practices and sector standards.

You could also say there’s a bonus of bragging rights. Completing the Experienced Seed Grower program and having two years of successful seed crop production qualifies you as an Accredited Seed Grower (ASG). CSGA sends you a digital badge, which is fully verifiable online, and you can use it to promote yourself in the marketplace. It really sets you up as a seed leader and mentor. Ideally, all our seed grower partners would carry this certification. It provides added assurance that quality is maintained throughout the seed production process.

At Pitura Seeds, we’ve incorporated Course 1, “Introduction to the Canadian Seed Sector,” into our staff training and orientation package for new team members. This course is free of charge, so it’s a great way to whet the appetite for all that CSGA Learn has to offer.

The introduction course provides a foundational understanding of the seed sector, ensuring everyone starts on the same page.

This overview is incredibly beneficial, especially for team members who may not be directly involved in seed production. It allows them to better understand the broader context of the company’s operations and how their role fits into the larger picture.

Having everything online makes it convenient for my team and I to access the courses from home without sacrificing valuable time. On average, each course required about 30 to 45 minutes.

Understanding the ‘why’ behind our practices is crucial, and CSGA Learn provides invaluable learning for all seed growers.

I’d encourage you to check it out. It benefitted me and my staff, and I’m confident you’ll experience the same.