5 Advancing Seed in Alberta | fall.2017 DAVID BISHOP CELEBRATING Canada’s 150th anniversary had many of us looking back at key events that helped shape this great diverse country and, at the same time, wondering what the future holds. Canada’s agriculture sector continues to evolve from the subsistence level of the sodbusters of the Prairies, to being a global leader in the canola and pulse sectors. Considering the aspects that have helped shape Canada’s strong agricultural industry, one thing that is as true today as it was in the past 150 years is the agriculture sector’s investment in constant improvement. The spirit of working together to courageously adapt to whatever the many market, environmental and political forces throw at us will continue to ensure success for this industry in the future. The quest for a “better way” has always been an ag industry- leading force. Research continues to be the key to unlocking opportunities of crop production. Research is ongoing in the many facets of this industry. The quest for a better way of plant breeding to develop crops that will not only tolerate, but thrive in the ever evolving environment, is just the tip of the “research iceberg.” Plant breeders not only have to take varietal performance into account, but also market acceptance, be it at the growing boutique brewing industry here in Alberta, or the requirement of a government to supply cost-effective protein to a mass population on another continent. The adaptation of new technologies shall continue to strengthen the industry in ways that some of us cannot yet imagine. A balance of the old with the new continues to ensure sustainable advancement of the industry. Be it on our farms, or at board of director’s tables, a blend of what we know works with what we predict to better keep the industry heading in the right direction. Change, be it subtle or drastic, always requires adaptation in all facets of the industry. The slow culture change of how we view ourselves as producing a commodity to visualizing our crops on someone’s table is being quarterbacked by Cigi, and will ensure that we connect with consumers in the long term. Articles in this issue will discuss how new methods of funding research that use a combination of private, public and producer resources show how projects can move forward with collaborative energy. Everything that happens in this industry is because of people. How we collaborate is also evolving. Provincially and nationally, a plethora of organizations exist, some that represent special interest groups, others that have a broader scope. Consolidation is a part of organizational evolution; as the old cliché of “less is more” rings true in the case of lobby efforts. Having a clear message, with a coalesced group has more impact than several slightly different messages by fractionated industry groups. Hats off to all the farmers who have taken a formal role in some of the many agriculture-related organizations, be it your local seed processing co-op, or provincial or national commodity groups. Stepping up to be a director on a board is crucial to the future success of the industry at large. This synergy of effort has been imperative for our past accomplishments, and continues to be a hallmark for OUR BRIGHT FUTURE. We can’t change the past, but we can certainly influence the future. Enjoy this issue of the Alberta Seed Guide. David Bishop President Alberta Seed Processors Email: bisdvd@aol.com