Although we will not be able to meet in person this year, my thoughts are with all our members across the country. The impacts of the COVID-19 have been widespread, and the health and safety of our members is of the utmost importance.
Throughout the pandemic, CSTA has been in close contact with government officials to keep the seed industry top of mind and ensure that the movement of seed is considered essential. CSTA staff have been working hard to keep members updated through Trade Winds, the CSTA website and on social media.
CSTA took quick, decisive action to focus on members’ wellbeing and cancel our in-person annual meeting in Winnipeg. We did not make this decision lightly. We know that members look forward to reconnecting with colleagues, friends, and family every summer. In planning the virtual annual meeting, the focus has been on member engagement, and we have ensured many opportunities for discussion and feedback. It may look and feel a little different, but our members will still be able to gather virtually in the coming weeks.
Since our Semi-Annual Meeting in Calgary, we have made significant progress on the Seed Synergy Collaboration Project. We will soon share updates on the ratification package; and will provide multiple forums for your comments and questions. This is an important decision and your organizations’ vote will have an impact on the future of both CSTA and the Canadian seed industry at large. We will spend a good portion of our Annual General Meeting discussing the New Seed Organization and what happens next.
CSTA’s committee meetings will all take place in advance of the Annual General Meeting. Since we are offering the committee meetings online, we are excited to have the opportunity to host all eight committees. CSTA will host the meetings via our new podcast, “The Kernel” so that members will be able to listen to the committee meetings at their convenience, followed by an online discussion at scheduled times.
CSTA has a long and proud history as a leading organization in Canadian agriculture. This year’s annual meeting, our 97th, may be the final one as the Canadian Seed Trade Association, and I want to recognize the significance these meetings have had over the past decades. Although I am disappointed we will not be able to see each other in person, I look forward to connecting virtually with you all very soon.
On behalf of the CSTA Board of Directors and staff, thank you for your participation.
CSTA President 2019-2020