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Who Made Your Dinner? Careers in the Certified Seed industry

published by OAFE

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CAREERS IN AG & FOOD
Who made your dinner?
Do you know that the flour used for cakes and cookies is different than the flour used for bread? They are made from different types of wheat. And the soybeans for your tofu are different than the soybeans you eat as edamame at your favourite sushi restaurant. Many of the food products you consume begin with Certified seed. These can include grains (e.g. wheat, corn), oilseeds (e.g. canola, flax) and pulses (lentils, chickpeas). There are a lot of people involved in bringing those crops from the lab to the farm to the processor, and finally to your plate.
Here are some of the careers in the Certified Seed industry. Which one is right for you?
Do you enjoy solving problems and bringing new ideas to life? In labs and fields new seed varieties are developed with new traits (characteristics) and yields (amount the plant produces).
VARIETY DEVELOPMENT
01
Biotechnologist Laboratory Technician Molecular Geneticist Pathologist Plant Breeders
CAREERS
Do you like working with specialized equipment? Once the seed is developed in a lab, it has to be produced in small amounts so that it can be tested and certified. Only Certified Seed Growers can take part in this step. They plant using clean equipment making sure to only plant the desired seeds.  
PLANTING
02
Certified Seed Grower Equipment Operator
CAREERS
Do you want to be outside and get your hands dirty? During the growing season seed growers monitor their crops. They make sure they are healthy and free from weeds and pests.
GROWING SEASON
03
Seed Grower Research Agronomist
CAREERS
Do you like evaluating and making decisions? New seed varieties have to be inspected in the field by licensed inspectors. The field reports are assessed by the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association. If the seeds meet the standards, an official crop certificate is given.
FIELD INSPECTION
04
Appraiser for Canadian Seed Growers Association Third party inspectors licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
CAREERS
Do you enjoy driving machines and keeping detailed records? When the crop is ready, growers and their staff use harvesting equipment to collect and transport the seed to its own storage bins. This keeps the seed 'pure' so that it can be tested. A traceability record shows detailed information about the seed.
HARVESTING & STORAGE
05
Equipment Operator Grain Truck Driver Heavy Equipment Technician
CAREERS
06
TESTING & GRADING
Do you enjoy running experiments and tracking data? After the seeds have been harvested, they have to be tested. In special labs, graders (accredited by Canadian Food Inspection Agency) check to see that the seeds meet standards for Certified seed.
CFIA Accredited Seed grader Lab Technicians
CAREERS
Do you dream of bringing a product to life and connecting with customers? Once a seed is certified it needs to be "commercialized" or made market ready. Seed companies market, sell and distribute seeds to farmers. These companies also manage the logistics and legal details of who is growing the crop.
COMMERCIALIZATION
07
Marketing & Communications Plant Managers & Technicians Seed Sales Representative Quality Assurance Managers
CAREERS
08
WIDE SPREAD GROWING
Do you want to produce food to nourish people around the world? Farmers purchase Certified seed and grow them to produce food for people or feed for livestock and poultry. They may hire people to help them plant and harvest, or even agronomists to consult on keeping their plants and soil healthy.
Agronomist Commercial Farmers Planting & Harvesting staff
CAREERS
Do you love transforming one product into another? When grains and oilseeds grown from Certified seed are harvested, they are processed according to what the end use will be. Food processors and food scientists use the high quality grains and oilseeds to produce a variety of safe and delicious food products that end up on your plate.
PROCESSING
09
Food Manufacturer Food Processors Food Scientist Miller Quality Assurance Managers
CAREERS
Learn more about these careers at www.GrowingCareers.ca
Prepared by AgScape with support from the Ontario Seed Growers’ Association representing careers within the Canadian seed industry. © 2016 AgScape (Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc.)  All rights reserved.  Teachers are granted permission to reproduce activities and information from this document for classroom use only. Reproduction for purposes other than classroom use, in any format, requires written permission from Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. [email protected]   Registered Charitable Number:  13237 2285 RR0001  
Canadian Seed Growers Association: http://seedgrowers.ca/seed-growers/what-is-canadian-certified-seed/how-certified-seed-is-produced/ Canadian Seed Trade Association: http://cdnseed.org/a-career-in-seeds/
REFERENCES