Career Profiles – Business and Marketing

Tatum Gardiner
Seed, Trait and Biological Product Manager
Role: Responsible for helping manage the seed, trait and biological product line by maintaining relationships with suppliers, and evaluating marketing and product offers. Work closely with internal wholesale and retail sales forces, determine product line strategy, and collaborate with distribution services and crop input accounting to ensure proper execution.
Education: B. Sc. Ag (Agronomy), MBA (Marketing)                                                                                  Insights from Tatum:

I decided to choose a career in the seed industry because…
“I chose a career in the seed industry because it is dynamic and continually evolving. The amount of time, effort and funding focused on research and development is astounding, and it is exciting to see the new technology and genetics become commercially available.”

My advice to students considering a career in the seed industry would be…
“Take the time to explore the different opportunities the seed industry has to offer. There is a vast array of positions available, which provides a great deal of potential for career growth and advancement. Also, networking within the industry is extremely valuable, as it will help open doors to opportunities you may not know exist.”

Brent Derkatch
Director, Operations and Business Development
Canterra Seeds
Role: Oversee all seed production and manufacturing activities, and manage two staff members. Also responsible for business case analysis on new varieties entering the portfolio, and working with end-users to develop seed production and IP business models for specific varieties.
Education: Diploma in Seed and Grain Technology, Olds College; Certificate in Management, University of Manitoba                                                                                                                                              Insights from Brent:

What excites me the most about my role is…
“The seasonality of the business makes every day a new day with new challenges. Advances in trait technology, specialty quality characteristics and the importance of the seed business in the food manufacturing value chain, make the role exciting. I also have the opportunity to stay connected to primary producers and seed growers, while learning about the needs of the end-user and food consumers.”

My advice to students considering a career in the seed industry would be…
“The seed industry is evolving quickly as investments in traits are made that will improve yield, quality and food security, to feed a growing population. The industry works with many players in the rest of the value chain which will allow you a broad perspective of the agricultural industry. There is an opportunity here that meets everyone’s interests – from sales, marketing, production, research and agronomy.
Also, stay committed to your pursuit in agriculture. Take the time to get to know more about the seed industry by talking to those with experience. The CSTA is a great source of information and many people working in the seed industry are passionate about it. They will be more than willing to share their experiences and provide advice.”

Shaun Haney
Owner/General Manager
Haney Farms
Role: Management of the Haney Farms seed business including line testing, plot production, commercial multiplication, seed brokering and retail. Also the Founder and Editor of, a website focused on the issues that are impacting agriculture.
Education:Bachelor of Management, University of Lethbridge                                                                      Insights from Shaun:

What excites me the most about my role is…
“The ability to play such an important role in the agriculture value chain. Multiplying genetics and transferring that technology to commercialization on farms across Canada is a very rewarding experience.”

My advice to students considering a career in the seed industry would be…
“If you are interested in the seed industry I would suggest engaging in different segments of the business. Learn to understand a couple different sides of the business so that you become well rounded and diverse in your perspective. This will also allow you to find your passion within the industry and activate your true potential.”