b'MESSAGES | Alberta Seed GrowersGREETINGS! I hope you are all surviving our winter and looking forward to another spring seeding season. At Alberta Seed Growers, we are also looking forward to a new start.Last year was one for the books. It challenged us in so many ways. Im sure I wasnt the only one who was ready to welcome a new year with hope and optimism that things could only get better.But while I was happy to close the book on 2020, on reflection I realized I learned so much last year.The greatest highlight for me was the critical importance of communication. We learned some of this through the outcome of the Seeds Canada ratification vote last August. Our board collectively spent many hours/days/months working to communicate what we knew about the proposal to our members and encouraged them to vote. The results provided us with a strong sense of what is desirable to our members and we are taking this direction moving forward.It was through the spring that we learned the most about the importance of communication, and the ability to adapt our communications tactics when COVID-19 essentially changed how we live, work and engage with one another. As social beings, the isolation had far reaching impacts on our day-to-day lives.Recognizing this, many organizations, ourselves included, adapted and began diversifying their channels of communications. We learned through this that no matter what @abseedgrower the circumstances, communication, the core of which is connection with one another is [email protected] and we need to preserve and nurture our strong bonds however we can.(403) 325-0081 Last growing season also presented challenges for some of us. While most of the prairie region had a decent crop year, there were many farmers which had the previous years crop to harvest in the spring. Some had too much water to start the year early, or even on time. Constant spring rain prevented seeding on some fields, while in other cases already seeded fields were flooded. These circumstances really dampened yields and spirits, I learned how easy it would be to become isolated, depressed and lose hope. The antidote to that is connecting with others, it sure helps to learn you are not alone and to hear from others who are going through similar experiences. Its good to be reminded of the collective spirit of all farmers in these circumstancesweve had struggles before, and will again, but we always pull through, together. The common takeaway from all these examples is communication improves our businesses, our working and personal relationships, and really just the quality of our lives. Without strong communication and engagement with one another, on all things, we will struggle and grow farther apart at a time when our industry, and our whole world, needs unity. Once harvest was completed our board took some time to regroup. We listened to the presentations at our November inter-provincial meeting and learned how our industry partners plan to move forward. We also learned from our national board their goal, Seed Cert 2.0, is to be the best version of the CSGA they can be. There was an update on the VUA pilot program, their focus is further developing the on-line platform for participants in 2021. Finally, Kit Welchlin helped us hone our communication skills, primarily the art of listening with the intent to understand. We need to focus more on comprehending, and reflecting back, so the speaker knows we understand them. Communication is also a two-way street and it should be respectful, only then are we ready to communicate clearly with each other.Now we feel prepared to gather our Alberta seed grower members for a virtual annual general meeting. This is the time to focus on addressing member questions and concerns and facilitating constructive discussions around where to go next, to best support the future success of our industry. Watch for details in the mail or on our website so you can pre-register to join us from the comfort of your home, Feb. 4, 2021. Heres to a wonderful season. I hope youre all feeling as hopeful as me. Renee Hoyme, President, Alberta Seed Growers4seed.ab.ca'