Online Course: BAUTA Seed Production Course (Grants available)

Posted by Dana Penrice on March 15, 2018

Want to learn more about producing organic seeds? Want to learn about their commercial production, harvesting, quality, marketing, breeding and more?  Want to build your own business following your own unique seed-farm business plan?

If so, this course is for you!

In partnership with USC Canada through The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, COG is excited to open registration for Canada’s only intermediate-level Organic Vegetable Seed Production e-learning certificate! This 22-week program runs April 9th – November 2nd, 2018 (with a summer break from July 9th – September 2nd).

Designed with flexibility, this certificate program will be delivered in a part-time blended format featuring live, online instruction with two expert instructors and successful organic seed producers, Mary Brittain of The Cottage Gardener and Patrick Steiner of Stellar Seed(bios below).

The course will focus on building the competencies needed for successful, commercial organic seed producers. Modules covered in this certificate program include:

1. Organic Farming Practices
2. Organic Seed Production and Harvesting
3. Organic Seed Quality Assurance
4. The Business of Organic Seed Production
5. On-Farm Organic Plant Breeding

COMING SOON: 2018 Full course syllabus. For now, check out the 2017 Syllabus here.

COMING SOON: 2018 Spring Webinar Schedule. 

Estimated Weekly Time Commitment: 4 to 8 hours but will vary by student

Required Course Textbooks (After registering, wait till course is confirmed on April 3rd to order) :

The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production by John Navazio (approx. $50)

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s and Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving, 2nd Edition by Carol Deppe (approx $28).

Admission into this program requires that students have a basic level of knowledge and/or experience in seed production. This will be evaluated using a pre-enrollment questionnaire. The program of study is flexible, allowing students to spend more time on concepts that are most important to them. Over the duration of the certificate, and central to the successful completion of the course, students will work with instructors to develop their own unique commercial seed-farm business plan.

Technical requirements: This course requires Internet service of sufficient quality to view online videos, interactive media, and to participate in webinars. The digital media used in COG’s courses have been selected considering low data requirements. Learners can also acquire lessons in a self-organized group setting by regional meet-ups in local libraries or schools.

An optional 40-hour in-field experiential learning practicum placement is also offered that will partner students with mentors to give them more hands-on experience. This practicum exercise is an important and distinctive offering which brings practice-based learning to the online learning format. You can learn more about the practicum and various practicum options here.

Early Bird Discount: $1,100 + taxes (Register by March 25th, 2018)
Price goes up to $1,250 + taxes on March 26th (Registration Closes, April 6th, 2018)
Practicum add on: $400 + taxes
* Payment plans are available. Contact for more information.

Grants available for this course through:

Mary Brittain has been growing and saving seed for over 20 years on her 20-acre farm in southern Ontario. Together with her husband, Dan, and daughter, Rachel, they operate The Cottage Gardener Heirloom Seedhouse, a seed company specializing in organic, heirloom seeds of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Off-farm, Mary had a career as an executive in the public sector, specializing in human resource development & management and strategic planning. She has also pursued post-graduate studies in business administration.

Patrick Steiner has been growing organic seeds for close to two decades, and operating his own seed company Stellar Seeds, for the past seventeen years.  He farms in the mountainous West Kootenays in British Columbia, where he balances the work of producing seeds and running a seed business with equally important work in local food security issues. He enjoys sharing the knowledge he has gained from years of first-hand experience with organic seed production.

Currently a student at a university or college? Contact us for details about taking this course for credit!

Don’t want to Pay Online? Register for the course by email, mail, or phone. Fill out this Registration Form & Questionnaire and return to COG.

View Course Refund and Withdrawal Policy

For more information about this course, contact or call us at 1-877-375-7383.

This e-Learning certificate was developed in collaboration with:

USC Canada is part of a worldwide movement working to build more just and resilient food systems. One of Canada’s longest-standing international cooperation organizations, we work in the field and in policy arenas to enhance biodiversity, promote ecological agriculture, and strengthen farmers’ rights. We work hand-in-hand with those at the heart of resilient food systems – women, youth, indigenous peoples, and family farmers.


Launched in 2013, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security is USC Canada’s first-ever domestic field program. The Initiative is a collaborative effort of farmers and partners working to build a diverse and resilient seed system for Canada. The Initiative works to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of ecologically grown Canadian seed; to promote public access to seed, to facilitate collaboration in Canada’s seed system; and, to respect and advance the knowledge of farmers in seed and food production.