b'Jodi SouterFounder, J4 Agri-Science | Saskatoon, Sask.| 34 years oldJodi Souter is known as a pioneerRegulatory Modernization (SRM) in private plant breeding. As co- process is an example of how the owner of J4 Agri-Science, the Nuffieldseed industry may have had certain Scholar has extensively studiedpractices or policies in place, such as private plant breeding in Canada andvariety registration, for a long time the obstacles and opportunities sur- simply because thats the way things rounding it.have always been done, she adds.As part of her Nuffield work, sheIts important to recognize that examined regulations surroundingthere is no perfect system and that intellectual property, biotechnology,the industry should always be striving and the perception of private plantto improve and adapt to new circum-breeding in Canada, as well as regu- stances. This may involve updating latory barriers in registering varieties.policies or removing barriers that pre-Addressing these obstacles couldvent new players from entering the help develop an additional lane forindustry, such as small startup com-private plant breeding in Canada, butA lack of young leaders in the plantpanies. Ultimately, the goal should to do that, we need more people likebreeding industry is something thatbe to create a more welcoming and her, she notes. needs to be addressed, she says.dynamic industry that can continue There arent a ton of people inPart of the issue, she says, isto evolve and meet the needs of a this line of work below the age of 50.that old habits die hard. The Seedchanging world.Simon Ellis Lauren CominCEO, Seed and FarmRegulatory Affairs Manager, Operations, Ellis Seeds | Seeds Canada | Calgary, Alta. | Wawanesa, Man. | 35 years old 37 years oldSimon Elliss secret toIn 2022 Lauren Comin success? Plan for thehad a career change future. that has some simi-As a member of thelarities to her previous Manitoba Seed Growerswork for Alberta Wheat Association board andand Alberta Barley, but vice-chair of the Seedsinvolved learning about Canada Oilseeds, Pulses, & Western Cereals Policy &a whole new aspect of the industry. In May of last year Issues Committee, he believes staying ahead of changesshe moved to Seeds Canada, and since then shes been in farming needs and climate change pressures is crucial. learning more every day.Ellis Seeds processing facility has been designed toHer previous experience in the wheat and barley process a wide range of crop types. His family is celebrat- industry prepared her well for her current role. If anyone ing a century selling seed. When it began, it wasnt calledcan thrive in an environment like todays seed industry, Ellis Seeds, and his great-grandfather was basically sellingits her.boxcars of grain across the Prairies. Things have changedAlberta Wheat & Barley is a pretty fast-paced organi-a lot, but Ellis keeps one thing in mind as a rising leaderzation and is constantly trying to add new programs and in the seed sector: look ahead. Constantly. meet members needs. Its almost like learning to drive Ellis Seeds has not only doubled its processing capac- downtown in rush hour during a snowstorm, she says.ity but has also repositioned itself as capable of doingComin is known as someone who can prioritize rela-food-grade processing.tionship-building and encourage others to do the same. That was a significant undertaking for us, going food- The challenges we face today require a different grade, but its resulted in better traceability and controlapproach to leadership, one that prioritizes building rela-over our processes, he says. tionships, finding common ground, and working together The benefits are well worth the effort. By implement- towards new solutions, she says. ing these measures, were not only ensuring the safetyIts important to bring fresh perspectives and a will-of the food we produce but also building trust with ouringness to challenge the status quo. The next generation customers. of leaders will play a critical role doing that, I think.MARCH 2023 GERMINATION.CA 13'