Career Profiles: Production and Supply Chain Logistics

Scott Horner
General Manager
HyTech Production Ltd.

Role: To manage the operations of HyTech Production Ltd., an independent seed production company with operations in Western Canada and Chile. HyTech’s core activities are contra and regular season production of Certified hybrid canola seed, Parent Seed and field grow out services.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan

Insights from Scott: What excites me the most about my role is…

“Working with and learning from many great professions in Canada and around the world. The seed industry is global, diverse and very complex – significant investment is taking place which is driving development at a fast pace, and we rely on technology and innovation to become more efficient and competitive. Despite the global reach and technological sophistication of this industry, at the end of the day we produce SEED, for people to plant so that they can produce the food, fibre and fuel that we all depend on. For me, working in the seed industry is exciting, challenging and very rewarding.

My advice to students considering a career in the seed industry would be…

“Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom, good people advance quickly through the ranks in the seed industry. I know Senior Executives and owners of successful seed companies who started stacking bags and sweeping floors in a seed plant. Figure out what you like to do and there’s likely a seed industry job for you. Finance, accounting, agronomy, plant breeding, molecular biology… you might be surprised by the opportunities that are available.”

Kimiko Epp
Quality Systems Manager
HyTech Production Ltd.

Role: Oversee the Quality Assurance team to ensure that the seed we produce meets quality standards and the identity is preserved.

Education: Bachelor of Science in General Science, University of Lethbridge

Insights from Kimiko: What excites me the most about my role is…

“How it is always changing and evolving to accommodate new scientific developments. I am constantly learning during my interactions with various plant breeders and production agronomists and so it is never too routine. My role also allows me to travel quite a bit, the industry is so global, which leads me to many opportunities to go to other countries for meetings, training etc. Despite this, I have gotten to know many of the people involved in the different aspects of the industry and I like the familiarity of that.”

My advice to students considering a career in the seed industry would be…

“Don’t be afraid to get more involved in the scientific aspect of the seed industry. Enroll in genetics courses, plant breeding, plant morphology etc. I would also recommend looking for people who are working in the industry and talking to them about their jobs to get their advice and direction.”

Peter Entz
Director, Seed and Traits
Richardson International Ltd.

Role: Manage the overall seed and trait business for an integrated grain company.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Master of Science

Insights from Peter: What excites me the most about my role is…

“That the products, market and technology is always changing. It creates a lot of opportunity for your farm customers, end use customers and your business.”

My advice to students considering a career in the seed industry would be…

“Try to find a summer job where you can get exposure to the seed industry and simply be prepared to keep learning. Unfortunately, what you’ve learned 5 years ago might be somewhat irrelevant today. And try to find someone who can act as a mentor for you. Whether you are in school or working full-time, learning from others who have more experience will accelerate your learning. And people are really what makes the difference. Take the time to build relationships with your customers, co-workers, even competitors.”