Don Pollock – 2016 Honorary Life Award Recipient
A long-time seedsman, Don Pollock got his start in the industry growing alfalfa seed in the mid 1970s, after returning home from the oilfields. Then, in 1982, he and eight other alfalfa seed growers pooled their resources to form Northstar Seed Ltd., based in Neepawa, Man.
The company originally focused on alfalfa seed and since that time has expanded to provide quality forage, turf, lawn and native seed and to include a full-service dealer network in Western Canada. With customers in the United States, Europe, South America and Eastern Canada, Northstar Seed has become a truly global company. As general manager, Pollock oversees the company’s operations and reports to a board of directors.
Northstar has been instrumental in obtaining some of the early contracts for proprietary alfalfa varieties and then expanding the number of varieties and species available for forage and turf producers to contract in Canada.
Pollock has provided leadership not only at the company level but also at the national level, having previously served on the board of directors for the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers and SeCan.
Through CSTA, Pollock worked with Statistics Canada to better collect data for domestic forage consumption and streamline forage export codes, making them more user-friendly. He also played a role in the reorganization of the Canadian Seed Forage Project, which supplies foundation seed. And he helped to re-evaluate the scope and size of SeCan’s Board of Directors.