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16
October

Denys to lead Canadian Seed Trade Association

Quality Products and Dependable Service

Stephen Denys is carrying on a local tradition by being named president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association for 2012-13.

The 46-year-old farmer and vice-president of sales and marketing at Pride Seeds in Pain Court, officially accepted the president’s gavel on Friday during the CSTA’s annual meeting in Charlottetown, PEI.

Denys told The Chatham Daily News Monday he’s proud to be added to the list of presidents from Chatham-Kent who have served the association. These include John Thompson, Paul King, Don Littlejohns, Bill Parks, John Cowan and Tim Wellbanks.

“Chatham-Kent has always been a strong contributor to the seed industry across Canada,” he said.

Another aspect of serving as CSTA president for Denys is the fact he farms 600 acres growing corn, soybeans, white beans and wheat.

“So, I take the industry very seriously, because if I want the best technology on my farm, to help improve my yields, it takes the initiatives that the trade association is doing to make sure that happens.”

An area the CSTA will continue to focus on is bringing about much-needed changes in federal seed policy and the approach taken to register crops, such as wheat.

Currently, Denys said, many foreign agricultural companies don’t want to invest in Canada due to “outdated intellectual property protection laws when it comes to the seed area.”

If companies are investing a lot of money in crops, particularly crops where there are no technology trades tied to them, then the ability to collect a fair return for their investment doesn’t happen in Canada, he said.

CSTA wants to ensure producers have the best seed genetics and seed technology, he added.

“There’s nothing more essential in this country than a high-quality seed supply, because you cannot grow the crops for food, you cannot grow feed for livestock, you cannot grow the corn for fuel . . . unless you start with strong seed,” Denys said.

Another priority of CSTA for the coming year is to attract younger people into agriculture.

Deny said in the past, many older farmers told their children not to become farmers, because of the hard times. However, global fortunes are changing, now agriculture is one of best industries to be in, he said.

“It’s an industry that’s really starting to get starved for talent as we go forward,” Denys said.

“What we’re looking to do is draw young people into agriculture from university and even start talking at the high school level in terms of agriculture as a career choice,” he said.

Ellwood.shreve@sunmedia.ca

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