The Marie Greeniaus Award

2005 marked the establishment of the CSAAC Outstanding Achievement Award. The award was created to honour CSAAC members who promote exceptional leadership and professionalism in CSAAC and seed testing. Our first recipient was Marie Greeniaus. In 2006 this award was renamed The Marie Greeniaus Award in honour and memory of our dear friend who left us in December 2005.

mariegreeniausMarie dedicated her working career to the seed industry starting at the Government Seed Testing Station in Palmerston North, New Zealand in 1966. She then worked for the Yates Seed Company in Sydney, Australia and the Seed Testing Station in Tasmania until 1971. In that year, she accepted a position in the lab with A.E. McKenzie Seeds in Brandon, Manitoba. In 1985 Marie established Accu-test Seed Lab in Brandon and in 1987 she moved Accu-Test to Rivers, MB and operated it with Farmer’s Co-op Seed Plant. In 2000 Marie accepted the position of Lab Manager with Priority Seed Lab, later known as SW Seed Services in Brandon.

Marie made many contributions to the Canadian seed industry including training graders and hosting grader workshops for Registered Seed Establishments, conducting training at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon and working with two local radio agricultural shows with phone-in interviews discussing her knowledge of seed, disease and planting problems in Manitoba. She served for many years as a judge at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair Pedigreed Seed Show and she established the School Class Seed Competition for Grades 4 and 5 students. In 1996, Marie received the Honorary Life Membership Award from the Manitoba Seed Growers Association recognizing her valuable service to the seed industry.

Marie was a member of the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists, becoming an RST in 1976. She served on many SCST committees including Historian, Secretary-Treasurer and Canadian Referee Chairperson. She was the recipient of the Anna Lute Award in 1997.

Marie’s history with CSAAC was a long and rewarding one for all. She became a senior member in 1973 and served as CSAAC President from 1979-1981 and 1989-1991. Her contribution to committee service includes Research Chair, Seed Collection Chair, Regional Secretary, Regional President and CSTA/CSAAC Liaison Committee. Marie helped organize and/or host many CSAAC workshops and meetings and you could always count on entertainment and a good laugh when she was involved.

Marie represented CSAAC and Canadian seed analysts on a number of committees and reviews including the 1984 Seed Program Management Review, as a member of the 1991 Steering Committee for the Plant Health review of Seed Testing Programs and in 1993 she participated in the Train the Trainer workshop. Marie, along with Jan Allen, co-authored the Canadian Grade Table Seed Compendium in 1990. The compendium reviewed 95 crop kinds comparing the working sample amounts used by AOSA, ISTA and the then current Canadian Rules and then proposed changes to the Canadian rules. The compendium was able to show that the proposed sample amounts would have been out of tolerance with International Rules. This led to a complete review of the Canadian Grade Tables by Agriculture Canada. Marie was appreciated as a valuable resource for bench level seed testing information to the Canadian Seed Institute, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and her fellow seed analyst colleagues.

Marie was very dedicated to and passionate about seed testing and the seed industry and this is reflected in the many accomplishments that she achieved. The Marie Greeniaus Award will honour those CSAAC members, whom like Marie, demonstrate their true leadership and dedication to the profession of seed testing in Canada.