I’m honoured to accept the position of executive director and look forward to helping see the CSTA through the months and years ahead. I joined CSTA in 2012 and most recently served as director of government affairs and policy prior to becoming executive director in July.
Prior to my time with CSTA, I worked as a legislative assistant for Members of Parliament. I guess you could say I understand both the Canadian seed industry and how the wheels of Ottawa turn.
There’s a reason CSTA’s office is three blocks south of Parliament Hill, after all. I want CSTA to continue to be a trusted resource that Parliamentarians and bureaucrats turn to not only for information, but also for our perspective.
That perspective is key. The world is becoming more complex, and the challenges we face are now cross-sectorial. That means we have to get consensus from everyone concerned — it’s not just up to CSTA to weigh in. Trade, varietal purity, plant breeding innovation, quality standards, seed health and access to crop protection products— these are massively complex and important files and require a lot of proactive engagement.
It’s part of the reason why we’ve decided to take part in the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project and work more closely with the other five associations that make up our industry. We made an incredible amount of progress at our annual meeting in Halifax in July. Seed Synergy is a key priority for me in my role as executive director, and our members have made it clear that it’s a priority for them as well.
People are eager to learn more about it, and we will have regular updates as we move through the process of helping develop a next-generation seed regulatory system.
In the meantime, don’t be a stranger! Please reach out to me at email@example.com or call me at 613-829-9527 x222. I would love to hear from you.
I’m excited to lead the board of CSTA as president, following in the footsteps of my predecessor, Brent Derkatch.
I have worked for Monsanto Canada since 2000, where I am currently the corn and soybean portfolio lead, which includes introducing new traits and the expansion of corn and soybeans in Western Canada. I have served on the board of directors of the CSTA for two years and on the executive for three years.
My first priority as president is the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project. As we think about what a next-generation seed regulatory system might look like, I believe CSTA should look through farmers’ eyes. What do they want, what do they need? Recent Statistics Canada reports show that corn, canola and soybeans are all up in acres and they’re the crops with the highest use of certified seed. Farmers are telling us they will invest in crops if they have an ROI. The question our industry needs to ask is how do we build a system that sees investment in more crops like corn, canola ad soybeans?
For me, Seed Synergy is about making sure we’re transformational, rather than tweaking little things here and there. We need to think big and bold and not be afraid to do something radical to benefit the farmer, who at the end of the day is the one buying the seed traded in Canada.
My second priority is diversity and engagement. A big opportunity exists for us as an association to increase diversity when it comes to gender and ethnicity. It’s not about setting quotas, but about ensuring we’re doing everything we can to engage a more diverse group of people and get them involved in the CSTA. There’s a lot of research out there showing diverse groups are stronger and function better than their less diverse counterparts, and CSTA should be no exception.
Over the next year I look forward to working with our stakeholders to advance CSTA as an organization. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always up for a chat.