After a 41 year career with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canad, and building his reputation as a world-class wheat breeder, Dr. Ron DePauw has joined SeCan in the position of Science Advisor.
DePauw recently retired from AAFC, a career marked by the successful breeding of prairie-farm-staple AC Barrie. DePauw was also a co-developer of AC Lillian, and farmers are likely just now adopting more recent varieties developed by DePauw — AC Muchmore and AC Carberry,
While known worldwide for his wheat development, DePauw’s new role is not as a plant breeder, but instead will work with SeCan’s plant breeding partners to “accelerate the development and introduction of the best new cereal genetics for Canadian farmers,” says SeCan.
“We want to be absolutely clear that we are not initiating a new breeding program,” says Jeff Reid, SeCan general manager. “The real need is to create synergy between Canada’s public and private breeding programs in order to make quicker progress, and we know Ron is the best individual to drive this process.”
“We know it will take partnerships between universities, seed companies, farmers, and government – to keep Canada ahead of the curve when it comes to new varieties,” says DePauw, who “believes the time is right to ramp up private sector involvement through a national consortium of Canadian businesses, prepared to find solutions to ever-shrinking government budgets for plant breeding.”
In 2013 SeCan’s board and membership approved changes directing SeCan to evolve from just distributing varieties, to also playing a role in facilitating their development.
SeCan is a consortium of over 700 independent Canadian seed businesses engaged in seed production, processing and marketing. SeCan is the largest supplier of certified seed to Canadian farmers, with more than 480 varieties in 27 crop types developed by public and private sector breeding programs.