Seed World

20 Most Inspiring Gen Z Employees In The EU Seed Sector In 2022: 6-10

In this issue of European Seed, we would like to put the spotlight on some of the young people that are active in our sector, and provide an inspiration for others. We selected the age group until 30 years, often termed as ‘Generation Z’ (or Gen Z).

As in previous years, you will again find a few lines of text per winner, explaining in a nutshell who they are and how they are inspiring others. We hope you enjoy the list, and as usual, we very much welcome and look forward to any feedback you wish to share.

Read part one.

Here are 6-10, alphabetically on last name:

Yolanda Estepa, Iberia QHSE Manager at Mas Seeds, Spain

In the ancient ages, agriculture was the main source of growth, consolidation and prosperity of great civilizations, societies and cultures. Nowadays, the primary sector is seen as the beginning of the start of the food chain, and as the driving force for developing countries because the productivity increase in agriculture frees up labour for other sectors, allowing societies to develop. Then and now, this makes it possible the improvement of the quality of life, the poverty reduction, the self-sustainability, and at last term the Zero Hunger. “Above all it is a source of pride for me to work in the seed sector, being part of this basis of cultures and civilizations historical development. In addition, being able to participate in the current transformation of the agricultural sector towards a model of parity is a way to normalize the presence of women both in this sector and in the industrial one,” says Estepa.

Scott Gellatly, Management Trainee at Incotec, The Netherlands

Scott Gellatly has put in a lot of energy to reach people who would put his research in the right direction, creating a great example of collaboration. He has proven that even a chemist can have a good understanding of the science behind seeds and how to optimise growth conditions.

“With the increasingly serious effects of climate change, it is more important than ever that we strive to protect our plants from day one,” he says. “This is why I am delighted to be part of the seed sector, where I have the opportunity to contribute to sustainable agriculture. I am excited to work on technologies that can efficiently deliver biostimulants and other beneficial compounds to crops, to help them achieve their full potential in challenging environments. It is also really important to me that this is done in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the environment the crops are grown in.”

Sofia Guendel Bueno, “Growing into the Future” Graduate at KWS, Germany

Sofia is originally from Costa Rica and has lived in several countries throughout her life. She always had an interest in agriculture by working for a farm certification organization, as well as corporations within the agricultural industry. She further expanded on her passion for agriculture through her studies in Agricultural and Food Economics at the University of Bonn, which allowed her to gain the theoretical knowledge, opening the doors to her journey with KWS.

“Working for the seed sector, I support the achievement of an overarching goal: feeding the planet. Through innovation in seeds, we support the efforts towards a more sustainable agricultural industry, and this is what drives me to be a part of the growth and development of this sector. Each seed carries with it all the innovation our breeders work on for years and I am proud to have the opportunity to support their findings by ensuring farmers can access these innovations. Through my role as a Global Graduate, I have had the opportunity to lead different projects, enabling insights regarding customer needs, digitalization and commercialization. Thanks to this experience, I can develop myself professionally and further support KWS and the seed industry as a whole,” says Sofia.

Oleksandra HORODETSKA, Junior Sunflower Breeder at RAGT SEMENCES, Ukraine

Seed is the beginning of life not only for plants but for all living creatures on Earth. That is why this sector attracts her. She worked very hard for herself to have the profession that she would love. Oleksandra has completed three internships in France for 2-3 months, learned French, English and studied in France during a 2-year apprenticeship at RAGT 2n to be a sunflower breeder. “The plant breeding sector is the way to create something better than what exists so far,” she says. “This profession gives the possibility to use all skills and develop yourself all the time.” The world and climate change puts new challenges for the whole team of a seed company. The process of response and to reach the goals, makes the achievements into a new priceless experience which is perfect for ambitious people, she adds. “To inspire others, I would say to everybody that if you want something, do all your best to achieve it!”

Sonia Marin, Trial Officer at Sakata Seed Ibérica, Spain

Sonia was born in 1994 and started working at Sakata in November 2017. She grew up in a family linked to agriculture and livestock and has made her way as the person in charge of Trials at Sakata in Murcia, Spain. She is an agricultural technical engineer and within an environment in which they are not used to dealing with young women. She has been able to gain a foothold and generate the necessary confidence both to the farmers and to her own colleagues for more than five years, taking responsibility for the trials in the area, especially in the cultivation of brassicas but also Solanaceae or cucurbits when necessary. Her work, effort and social skills can inspire other women to delve into tasks more related to the countryside and its farmers.

Continue to parts three and four.