December 2015

Continuing on…with Renewed Resolve and Purpose

In late November, the CSGA Board met in special session to examine how best to anticipate and ultimately facilitate and lead change, how best to mitigate the associated risks and ultimately how to effectively identify and capitalize on the inevitable opportunities.

The result was a rich and stimulating issue identification and analysis process that extended over 5 days and culminated in Board agreement on a plan to augment ongoing efforts to improve transparency, communication and collaboration among industry and government around seed issues and to move expeditiously to address those issues, while keeping a close eye on the bottom line.

An anticipated review and modernization of the CFIA Seed Program and ongoing efforts among various industry stakeholders to coordinate positions in relation to it, were an important catalyst for the CSGA decision to act now. The recent change in government, as well as the transition to new leadership in the CSGA and the CSTA executive director positions, were additional contributing factors.

The significance of what was achieved by the CSGA Board in November may take some time to be felt. However, discussions with our members and our industry and government partners will intensify. A clear, shared vision of where the seed industry and the seed regulatory system that supports it needs to go next will be developed. The process to get there will be iterative and in some areas difficult. But the CSGA’s resolve to be in the mix, to engage and to press for concrete and timely results is unmistakable and broadly supported by its Board members.

Implementing the Plan                                                        

The Action Plan that the CSGA agreed upon in November has three basic elements that together provide CSGA’s staff and Executive with a mandate to: 1) intensify efforts (both inside and outside the box) to enhance collaboration with prospective partners on priority issues of common concern; 2) to examine more closely how CSGA itself is organized and equipped to perform its roles, now and in the future and take required action; and 3) to ensure that whatever path is chosen is financially sustainable for its members and the broader community that Seed Growers serve and support.

With respect to collaboration, CSGA staff have already begun to ramp up their efforts in response to stronger Board direction. A critical path to the next Seed Synergy meeting in February between the leaders of CSGA, CSTA, CSI, CSAAC, CPTA and Crop Life has been agreed upon and the work is underway to flesh out an ambitious agenda for that discussion.

The Presidents and Executive Directors of key CSGA partners, Crop Life, CSTA, and CSI, were invited to the November CSGA Board meeting. Very productive discussions ensued, and staff have been directed to work with their counterparts in these organisations to enhance coordination and cooperation through all means possible on an accelerated basis. Similar direction has been given to staff with respect to strengthening CSGA’s co-regulatory working relationship with CFIA.

In parallel, national office staff are moving ahead quickly to lay the groundwork for the development of CSGA’s next 5 year strategic plan, with a target date of July 2017 for completion. The Board has directed that the planning process include it’s regional branches and key industry, government and other partners and that it be focused on measures that will contribute to the wellbeing of the entire seed and agriculture sector in this country. In this way, it is hoped that no matter what the change; what is good for the sector and what is good for CSGA will continue to be synonymous.

Stay Tuned…

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CSAAC Annual $500 Post-Secondary Student Grant

CSAAC will be offering again their annual student grant in the amount of $500 for post-secondary studies in the field of agriculture and/or plant sciences at a recognized Canadian institution. CSAAC wishes to provide an incentive to encourage students to pursue degrees related to agriculture so as to promote the development of sufficient expertise in the agricultural sector for the future.

Applications for grant will be accepted at any time throughout the year; however, the deadline is May 15th for the following fall term. No exceptions are allowed.

If no one applies by that date, the award will not be given for that year. A student is only eligible to receive the award once.

To be eligible, the student must be enrolled full-time or will be enrolled full-time at a Canadian university or college. Proof of enrolment from their university or college must accompany the application. The student must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

A copy of the student’s most recent transcript must accompany the application. Academic achievement is not a decision making criteria; however, the student has to prove they have the ability to handle the studies they have undertaken.

The student can be in any year of study in one of the agriculture and/or plant sciences programs at a recognized Canadian institution. Selection criteria will be based on fulltime enrolment, extracurricular activities and an accompanying essay.   The one to two page essay topic will be on why the student feels that they should receive this grant from CSAAC.

The student’s past and current involvement in the agriculture industry including the family farm and/or seed testing is a benefit to the nominee for a successful application.

Application and further instructions along with French translations may be found on the CSAAC website at

If you require further assistance or for information on services provided by our CSAAC members and how to locate them in your area, or for further information on membership and joining our association contact us at:

Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada Inc. (CSAAC)

Box 208, 301 Rothesay Street
Douglas, Manitoba R0K 0R0  Canada
Email at:
Visit our web site at:

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Changes in Crop Certification Requirements (Circular 6) for 2015

The CSGA Board of Directors met in November 2015 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, 2016. Growers are reminded that the current certification requirements for pedigreed seed crops are on the CSGA website. Please refer to the Notice of Changes for the full list of regulation changes that may affect you in 2016.

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Growing Certified Seed: Quality Comes First at Riddell Seed

RiddellEngIn this video, Warren, Manitoba, seed grower Craig Riddell shares why he and his family see a bright future for the seed production business and Certified seed. He’s one of many young Manitoba seed growers at the forefront of emerging technologies and the latest crop varieties. He says more and more farmers are relying on seed growers like him to provide insights on new varieties and produce Certified seed that delivers quality assurance, traceability and innovation directly to their farm fields.

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Managing Risk and Creating Opportunity with Certified Seed

ManagingRiskEngCertified seed plays a critical role in managing risk and creating opportunity for the Canadian seed system. This video explores how Certified seed helped identify and eliminate Triffid, the genetically modified flax variety that threatened the future of Canadian flax; how Certified Seed has also allowed the seed industry to eliminate the need for Kernel Visual Distinguishability; the role it plays in supporting Canada’s barley industry; and how it helps delivers quality assurance, innovation and traceability to the food processing industry.

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Happy Holidays

The entire CSGA staff and board of directors would like to take a moment to wish you and your family, health and happiness this holidays season and prosperity in the New Year. The office will be closed from December 25th to January 4th.

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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.