Seed of the Year is an initiative recognizing plant breeders. Through the program’s application process, breeders are encouraged to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new variety of field crops, forages, fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Applications from across Canada will be considered. Finalists from eastern and western Canada will be selected, and one winner from each will be named. Nominations will remain on file for three years and be re-nominated automatically and reviewed for consideration as a Seed of the Year finalist.

In this competition, varieties are evaluated on their performance, presence in the value chain, sustainability, marketability, innovation, end use potential, overall impact and contribution to the Canadian agri-food industry.

Seed of the Year was designed by the University of Guelph and SeCan with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional support has been provided by various commodity boards each year.

The program has several key objectives such as honouring the accomplishments of public seed breeders and their varieties, and increasing the knowledge of the importance of public breeding programs in Canada. Ultimately, it aims to acknowledge the contributions of these varieties on the agri-food sector.

In addition to the recognizing past accomplishments Seed of the Year provides a scholarship that will be awarded to a masters or Ph-D student specializing in genetics or plant breeding at one the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

All nominees will be reviewed by the western Seed of the Year committee. The winner of Seed of the Year selects the scholarship recipient. The winner will be announced in December each year.

The program is made possible by the support of our sponsors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Barley Commission, Canterra Seeds, Cargill, Parrish & Heimbecker Limited, Canadian Seed Growers Association, Viterra, Richardson International, SeCan and Western Grains Research Foundation.


2015 - CDC Teal
2014 – AC Andrew
2013 – Laird Green Lentils
2012 – CDC Bethune Flax
2011 – Fleet Meadow brome
2010 – AC Metcalfe barley
2009 – Harrington barley
2008 – Kyle durum