Barry Senft named as executive director of Seeds Canada

Longtime CEO of the Grain Farmers of Ontario Barry Senft has accepted the position of executive director of Seeds Canada.

Senft will join Seeds Canada June 1.

“We look forward to welcoming Barry to our organization. His national experience in the grain sector, understanding of agriculture issues and extensive experience in strategic development and leadership will be an asset,” says Ellen Sparry, president of Seeds Canada. “We are excited about Barry’s vision for Seeds Canada and the leadership he will bring as we continue to build a progressive, modern, competitive, growing seed sector in Canada.”

Seeds Canada is the new organization created by the amalgamation of the Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA), the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC), the Canadian Seed Institute (CSI), and the Canadian Seed Trade Association on February 1, 2021

Senft has more 30 years experience in the private and public agri-business sectors, and led the Grain Farmers of Ontario through its genesis from three producer groups. He has also served as Executive Director of the Canadian International Grains Institute, Chief Commissioner with the Canadian Grain Commission and Second-Vice President of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.

“I am honoured to be joining Seeds Canada, and I look forward to continuing to build on the incredible legacy of the organizations brought together under this banner,” says Senft. “The importance of Canada’s seed sector is on display from coast to coast during spring planting. 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.”

“We look forward to working together to build a culture for staff, Board, members, and clients that will further contribute to a growing and thriving seed sector.” Sparry added, “We would also like to thank interim executive director, Tyler McCann, for the work he has done to guide the organization through its amalgamation process.”

One of Senft’s first orders of business as ED 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 says.

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