When farmers plant a seed, it becomes many. It is the purest form of wealth creation. 

Agriculture’s relationship with seed is in constant evolution. Likewise for the complex issues surrounding its management. Plant breeding and new technologies have vastly improved our ability to influence genetic expressions, which delivers new traits, helps fend off pests and increases productivity.

However, new questions are emerging: Are we doing enough to preserve our genetic resources for the future? How do we pay for our ongoing investment in crop improvements? What role does our crop and land management play protecting our genetic resources?

Seeding the Future explores these questions and many more through stories, podcasts, visual elements and video animations.

Genetic Technology

Learn how a multinational collaboration finally cracked the code so researchers can unlock the genetic potential of one of the world’s most important crops… READ MORE

The last 20 years have seen a revolution in computing power, data processing and DNA analysis. Curtis Pozniak, who heads the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and his team use DNA markers to unravel the mysteries of plant breeding at a pace that would have made their predecessors’ heads spin… READ MORE

Will scientists one day be able to download and replicate any crop seeds they want from a bank of digitalized DNA patterns on a computer, both preserving and transforming the 12,000-year-old agricultural heritage of humanity? A vision for the future that was once unimaginable is inching closer to reality… READ MORE

Bringing research to the field in the form of new traits useful to farmers and processors may not hit the big screen, but it’s a big deal all the same… READ MORE

Cereals breeder Curtis Pozniak talks about the new tools changing his world… READ MORE

Biodiversity: Rows of trees planted decades ago to slow soil-lifting winds also provide habitat to pollinators that increase crop yields… READ MORE
Genetic technology: How genome mapping has helped fast-track our COVID-19 vaccines… READ MORE


A fourth generation farmer, chef and Nuffield Scholar has travelled the world to better understand the unique attributes of heritage varieties… READ MORE

They call it the Doomsday Vault, a $9-million tomb carved into the Plataberget Mountains on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Built to withstand a nuclear holocaust, the facility serves as the central bank for more than 1,700 gene banks around the world.

Yet there are no genetically modified seeds protected in the Svalbard vault, even though GM crops account for 78 per cent of the worlds soybean acreage, 30 per cent of its corn and 29 per cent of its rapeseed/canola.

We’ll find out why… READ MORE

His life’s story reads like a spy thriller. Tanks, camels, surreptitious crossings of the Iron Curtain and Middle Eastern borders. And then there were the chickens.

Donald Shaver was the godfather of modern poultry. Shaver built a poultry-breeding empire from a humble start, using two chicks gifted by an aunt. He contained a legendary work ethic, a singular obsession for the chicken business and more than his fair share of grit and determination. He also had an almost religious fervour to improve the chickens natural ability to produce protein and feed people the world over, a passion inspired by a teacher early in his life… READ MORE

Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov (1887-1943) was a Russian botanist and geneticist who helped the world understand the principles of plant evolution  — and he died for his ‘crime.’… READ MORE

Global seed vault managers have everything from climate change to war on their radar as they work to preserve the world’s genetic resources… READ MORE

Use them or lose them: how Canada’s lead seed bank ensures tomorrow’s generations will have viable seed to sow… READ MORE

What motivates someone to devote his life to perserving genetic resources? Here is one seed saver’s story… READ MORE

Some farmers are balking at the suggestion that they should pay a fee to grow their own seed… READ MORE

Sustainability / Biodiversity

Agroforestry, a centuries-old practice of integrating wooded areas, shelterbelts, orchard intercropping, and livestock foraging within agriculture is seeing a resurgence worldwide due to its many ecosystem service benefits including food production, nutrient dispersal, cycling and seed dispersals, carbon sequestration, climate, disease and pest regulation, purification of water and air and biological regulation of the planet… READ MORE

Its not the food commodities such as corn, soybeans and wheat that set Mike Strangs fields apart from others, its his focus on feeding the soil as well as people.

The Exeter, Ont. farmer has embraced a suite of farming practices designed to keep living roots growing in his soil for as much of the year as possible, which is no small feat in northern climes.

Exeter is on the front lines of a movement loosely defined as regenerative agriculture,” which looks beyond the short-term returns to protecting the soil and water resources underpinning food production… READ MORE

Prairie farmers have been on a collision course with aphanomyces and other root rots ever since they embraced peas, lentils, chickpeas and other pulse crops. Scientists say their best defence is… READ MORE

Kirsten Bett has spent her career in search of the perfect pulse… READ MORE


When Stefan Bouw and his family established their purebred Angus herd, they learned quickly that very specific genetics were needed for the program they had in mind.

Bouw, his brother Jonathan, their father Herman and their families run Edie Creek Angus, a 100-per cent grass-based seedstock operation, at Anola, Manitoba. Early on, they purchased purebred females regardless of the original herds production system, which they soon realized didnt serve their own program.

They looked really good, they were fed really well on a high energy, feed bunk ration, and then they came to our place and we didnt feed them any grain, and they didnt do well,” Bouw recalled. They were too tall, didnt have enough rumen capacity and had not been required to turn low quality forages into beef.”… READ MORE

Markets demand consistency, yet genetic diversity is key to how ranchers adapt their herds to unique environments and management.

Its long been joked that if you want to ignite war in cattle country, start a conversation about which cattle breed is best.  While other livestock sectors such as poultry and pork have moved to controlled production environments and a narrow gene pool to consistently produce the type and quality of meat sought by processors and consumers, the beef sector remains divided among multiple breeds and production practices on the wide-open range… READ MORE

Shelterbelts do much more than stop the wind from blowing away the soil. They are rich sources of biodiversity… READ MORE

When life hands you hills … just roll with them. Here’s how one farming family is capitalizing on their diverse landscape… READ MORE

Bird Man
Lisa Guenther, Kristy Nudds

Locked Out of the Vault
Sean Pratt

Shelter Belts (Agroforestry: the Unsung Matchmaker for Agricultural Biodiversity)
Diana Martin

The Wheat Genome: A Scientific Revolution
Robert Arnason, Ralph Pearce

Beyond the Flatlands
Ed White

Farmers’ Saving Grace
Paul Yanko, Dave Bedard

Geralyn Witchers, Robin Booker

Curious Cultivator
Kari Belanger

Pulse Check
Michael Robin

The Extraordinary Life and Death of Vavilov
Kari Belanger

Global Need Local Threats
Glen Hallick

Melitochuk’s Digital Dreams
Doug Ferguson

Exclusive Interview with Gene Hackman
Robin Booker

Traits and Techniques: How the search for genetic…
Karen Briere

A,B,C, D-Coded
Bruce Thorson

Moving from Simplistic Solutions…
Gord Gilmour, John Greig

Fast Track Designer Genes
Karen Briere

Canada’s Seed Hoarders
Lee Hart

Against the Grains Farm
Lorraine Stevenson

The Grass at Edie Creek
Piper Whelan

Cattle Conundrum
Piper Whelan

To Bee or Not to… the Role of Shelterbelts in Preserving Pollinators

Greg Berg

Site Design

Ryan Fralic


Bruce Thorson


Laura Rance