Strength in Numbers: Q&A With Chris Zanobini

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Chris Zanobini, CEO of the California Seed Association, discusses how collaboration strengthens the organization and what the seed industry should be lobbying for.

SW: Favorite film? 

Chris Zanobini: “Life is Beautiful,” staring and directed by Roberto Benigni. It’s about an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son who became victims of the Holocaust. He uses a perfect mix of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. He protects his son the way we all want to protect our children.

SW: Best way to spend a Friday night? 

CZ: Out for Sushi and then a quiet night home, or meeting a group of friends
at a local place for libations and Thai food.

SW: Hobbies? 

CZ: Gardening, skiing and friends.

SW: Biggest priority for 2019?   

CZ: Turn all the negatives into positives and to ultimately be thankful for
all our blessings. In general, work to be better at everything we do.

SW: How have the California fires affected CSA members? 

CZ: This has been a particularly hard year, as we all know someone who has been impacted by the wildfires. This seems to be the trend the past three years, and it is challenging not only to those directly impacted but also to everyone on the sidelines who are dealing with business disruptions, road closures and for most of us the impact to air quality. In the Sacramento Valley, we did not see the sun for the better part of two weeks because of the smoke. It impacts everyone.

SW: How does collaboration strengthen the seed association?

CZ: Through collaboration ,we are able to bring together a large number of companies and organizations to weigh in on important issues and to have a seat at the table when it comes to proactively dealing with issues. In addition, we have an incredible team of people who use their individual talents and strengths to work together to creatively address issues as opportunities.

SW: What do you think is the biggest legislation the seed industry should be lobbying for? 

CZ: The Seed industry needs to continue working to keep the innovations and technology moving forward without overly burdensome regulations or restrictions.

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