December 2014

Wishing a long and happy retirement to a good friend, colleague and mentor

HR-9004CSGA’s Randy Preater is retiring at the end of December.  To recognize our dear colleague and friend, a retirement reception for Randy was held in November in Ottawa in conjunction with the meeting of the CSGA Board of Directors. The farewell evening was attended by Randy’s family and friends, past and present, from the seed trade, government, CSGA staff and directors from near and far.

Randy’s 40 years of work with seed certification began in 1973 with the federal (AAFC) Food Production & Inspection Branch which later became the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CSGA hired Randy in 1996 from his CFIA position as a negotiator for cost recovery programs with the seed sector.

A graduate of University of Guelph, Randy taught high school before moving north to develop a livestock and cash crop farm near New Liskeard in the 1980’s. At that time he also delivered federal food and ag product inspection programs across northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.  He later completed a master’s degree in plant epidemiology at McGill University.

In his community, Randy was a councilor in Kerns township, a founding member of the volunteer fire department, leader of his daughters’ 4-H club, a church trustee, a director for the regional grain growers’ association and various provincial marketing boards. In business, he was a founding director for the region’s first grain elevator and also for the first drainage tile manufacturing plant in northern Ontario/Quebec.

At the CSGA, Randy’s program manager responsibilities have included providing technical support to CSGA operations staff while maintaining and nurturing working relations with growers, government representatives, other certification agencies, standards organizations, trade associations and many in the seed, food and biotech sectors. Much of Randy’s work with seed certification involved unique or unprecedented problems. Practical solutions often required an “outside the box” approach. For example, when several crop kinds including corn were exempted from CFIA variety registration in 1997, seed corn industry leaders still wanted CFIA certification of hybrid seed corn.  So CSGA developed the official recognition procedures required for variety certification eligibility (the CSGA Form 300) with equivalence to the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) standards that were used to certify the inbred parent seed imported from the U.S.
Other examples of Randy’s work include:

  • Helping Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances, quickly develop regulations for industrial hemp by referencing requirements in the existing regulatory framework for seed certification;
  • Implementing ISO-audited, HACCP-type Quality Management System requirements for Breeder seed crop certification and suspension procedures for non-compliant Plant Breeders as recommended by the CSGA Plant Breeders’ Committee;
  • Developing a Native Plant Certification program for Canada using AOSCA Pre-Variety Germplasm standards and Source Identified tags issued by CSGA, to provide certification of origin equivalence to the service available from other AOSCA agencies to U.S. seed growers;
  • Helping CSI and the Canadian Grain Commission, develop an internationally recognized program for national branding and official recognition of Identity Preserved (IP) programs for food and industrial product exporters with variety-specific markets such as specialty oil canola, gluten-free oats and non-GM food grade soybeans;
  • Implementing ISO 9001 certification for the CSGA Operations and developing Canadian certification standards, with international equivalence, for new, often niche market, crop kinds like Brassica carinata, coriander, open-pollinated corn, industrial hemp, hybrid asparagus, borage, camelina, fenugreek, hybrid millet, niger and hybrid tobacco; and
  • Coordinating the introduction of the unique option, first in Canada and later at AOSCA, for variety developers to prescribe Additional Certification Requirements (ACR). This option has been used to increase minimum isolation or previous land use requirements for the seed crop certification of some varieties and also to require post-harvest seed testing.
  • In order to implement the varietal blend model required to preserve the valuable single gene tolerance of midge tolerant wheat (estimated at $40 million/year economic impact), Randy coordinated with western wheat breeders and variety distributors, the introduction of the unprecedented seed crop certification system with ACR’s for 10% refuge variety verification that use molecular testing.

With semi-retirement from CSGA in 2012, Randy launched Preater Management consulting and, with his wife, Pat, found more time to enjoy their three grandchildren in Ottawa. The final good news for CSGA and Canada’s seed certification system is when required in 2015, Randy has agreed to continue an advisory service contract with CSGA.

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Changes in Crop Certification Requirements (Circular 6) for 2015

The CSGA Board of Directors met in November 2014 and approved changes in the Regulations and Procedures for Pedigreed Seed Crop Production (Circular 6).  A Notice of Changes is posted to the CSGA website.  The official updated version of Circular 6 will be posted to the CSGA website by February 1st, 2015. Growers are reminded that the current certification requirements for pedigreed seed crops are on the CSGA website at

Please refer to the Notice of Changes for the full list of regulation changes that may affect you in 2015.  Here are some of the major changes approved for 2015:

  • The definition of a “Field” is being clarified due to its importance in applications for seed crop certification under Alternative Service Delivery. CSGA would like to remind growers that separate applications are required if fields are managed separately, separated by large physical barriers or clearly not contiguous or adjacent.
  • Fababean isolation requirements from different varieties or non-pedigreed crops of fababeans, are increased to 100 meters for Select plot production and 10 meters for production of Foundation, Registered and Certified crops.
  • The definition of “same crop kind” in forage crop isolation requirements is being clarified for cross-pollinated species with the addition of interpretation examples.
  • Eligibility Requirements for Select Seed Certification are being updated to recognize the increased trend of transfer of Select seed. The eligibility of other plot producers’ Select seed, for Select Plot production, is clarified for accredited plot producers.

Please check the CSGA website February 1st to download your official version of the Regulations and Procedures for Pedigreed Seed Crop Production (Circular 6).

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Holiday Office Hours

The entire CSGA team would like to wish you and your family health and happiness this Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year.  The office will reopen on January 2nd to serve you.

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Contact Us

CSGA staff is here to help and guide you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember the CSGA national office operates in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone.

Telephone: (613) 236-0497, Fax: (613) 563-7855, Email:
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8455, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3T1
Courier Address: 240 Catherine Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2G8
Visit for complete contact information for our staff members.

Have YOU participated?

We are looking to members to provide feedback on our draft Strategic Plan. Once endorsed, the plan will shape CSGA policies and member services. Please take a few minutes to register and complete a short survey.

We are looking for YOUR opinion on Circular 6 Modernization, a Seed Grower Designate Program, Plant Breeders Rights, Inspections, CSGA services and many more. Join the conversation online today and hurry! This engagement ends Friday!


Avez-VOUS participé?

Nous sommes à la recherche de membres pour nous donner leur rétroaction sur l’ébauche de notre Plan stratégique. Une fois entériné, le plan façonnera les politiques et les services aux membres de l’ACPS. Veuillez prendre quelques minutes pour vous inscrire et répondre à un court sondage.

Nous aimerions connaître VOTRE opinion sur la modernisation de la Circulaire 6, un programme de désignation de producteur de semences, la protection des obtentions végétales, les inspections, les services de l’ACPS et bien d’autres. Joignez-vous à la conversation aujourd’hui même. Faites vite! Cette consultation prend fin vendredi.