Once Again, CSTA is Going Virtual

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) is holding our upcoming semi-annual meeting virtually from Nov. 23-26, 2020. Building on the success of our virtual annual meeting in the summer, we will again be offering a full program via Zoom. We’ve taken member feedback and have made improvements for an even more engaging event:

  • Packing in more meetings over a shorter span of time (four days as opposed to spread out over two weeks)
  • Extending the time of each committee meeting so that there is more time for discussion
  • Planning to offer supplementary materials in advance to promote a more active discussion

Of course, networking is the missing element that is hard to capture virtually, but we hope that our meetings will offer our members lively engagement around the issues that matter most to the seed industry.

Honouring our Best and Brightest

We had postponed the CSTA awards ceremony that usually takes place at our annual meeting, hoping that we would be able to gather in person in the fall. Unfortunately, we are still unable to present the awards in person, but we have mailed them to our winners and look forward to a virtual presentation at the semi-annual. It’s important to celebrate and highlight their achievements as leaders in the seed industry.

The 2020 CSTA Award Winners are:

  • Seed Achievement Award: Scott Horner
  • Honorary Life Membership: Kofi Agblor
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Award: Rob Graf

Committee Meetings and More

We will again hold our regular CSTA committee meetings, which are open to all members to attend and provide feedback. Meeting agendas are under development and will feature presentations, updates, and discussion on the latest issues of importance.

Also, work has begun on seed regulatory modernization and CSTA will offer a special event to update our members on progress. This should be an engaging information session for anyone interested in Canada’s seed system.

Members will also receive an update on the next steps around Seeds Canada. While the amalgamating partners have changed, the vision for Seeds Canada to become the voice of the seed sector, including growers, analysts and the seed trade, remains the same. CSTA’s semi-annual meeting will feature updates on the new context and plans to move forward.

—Liz Lumsden is manager, communications and member services, for the Canadian Seed Trade Association