Ex-GFO CEO to manage Seeds Canada

Barry Senft to help build up merged seed-industry group

Barry Senft. (Supplied photo)

The four Canadian seed industry organizations now operating as Seeds Canada have named their first organizer-in-chief.

Barry Senft, whose resume in Canadian agriculture includes stints as CEO for Grain Farmers of Ontario, executive director for the Canadian International Grains Institute, chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission and second vice-president for Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, becomes executive director of Seeds Canada on June 1.

Senft, originally from Lipton, Sask., stepped down in April last year as GFO’s CEO, having led that organization since its 2009 formation in a merger of Ontario’s corn, soybean and wheat grower groups.

Seeds Canada formally launched in February, completing a merger of the Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA), Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC), Canadian Seed Institute (CSI) and Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA).

Senft’s “national experience in the grain sector, understanding of agriculture issues and extensive experience in strategic development and leadership will be an asset,” Seeds Canada president Ellen Sparry said in a release Thursday.

“The impact of the seed sector is already significant, but there is great potential for it to do more if we can unlock its full potential with the right regulations and support,” Senft said in the same release.

Senft, as executive director, is expected to work with the Seeds Canada board and staff to “ensure the organization continues to grow throughout the amalgamation and deliver enhanced services for members and clients.”

Among his first tasks, the organization said, “will be to enact a renewed outreach to current and potential members and to drive Seeds Canada’s members priorities to the forefront of government agenda.”

The organization’s first annual general meeting is scheduled to take place virtually from July 9 to 16. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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