Our Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) program, implemented in partnership with the University of Manitoba, is the only of its kind in Canada. It supports farmers as early-generation plant breeders, selecting for varieties that are adapted to their regional climate and farm needs. The program is focused on wheat, oat, potatoes, and corn.

If you are a farmer on an agro-ecological farm and you’re interested in learning about plant breeding and working with new populations of wheat, oats, and potatoes, please contact your Regional Coordinator today!

The Participatory Plant Breeding program is led by Dr. Martin Entz and Michelle Carkner at the University of Manitoba, and Dr. Helen Jensen, Research Manager for The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, at SeedChange. From 2013-2018 this work was generously supported by Agriculture and Agri Food Canada’s Organic Science Cluster 2 Program


Already engaged with our PPB program? Find highlighted resources below. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Please contact your Regional Coordinator.

For a full list of our resources regarding on-farm research, click here.
For a full list of our videos and webinars, click here.


Early evaluations of farmer-bred material have shown incredible potential!

  • Farmer-selected wheats have out yielded standard reference varieties (2015 report here).
  • Farmer selection has led to site-specific adaptation (2016 research results here).
  • Certain farmer-selected potato lines trialed in Quebec have significantly outperformed standard industry reference varieties under organic conditions (2017 report here).
  • A 2018 article in Crop Science highlights these and other results.


From 2019-2022, we will continue to support farmers in selecting and improving wheat and oat populations on their farm. This program will also focus on characterizing and evaluating farmers’ wheat and oat populations through common garden trials in various regions across Canada. Our team is exploring possible end uses of farmers’ materials, including variety registration, and on-farm regeneration.

This research is part of Organic Science Cluster 3, led by the Organic Federation of Canada, in collaboration with the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University, supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canadian Agricultural Partnership- AgriScience Program and by The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.