In the 1960s, activities began in the Seed Area of the Faculty of Agronomy Eliseu Maciel (FAEM), Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel). At the opportunity, offering short courses focused on Production and Seed Technology. The initiative was the result of the qualification of teachers abroad, initially taking place at the University of California (UCDAVIS), with emphasis on vegetable seeds and later, at the University of Mississippi (MSU), with a priority to physiology, seed production and technology after harvest. The return of teachers from abroad, with Masters level, especially in MSU, allowed that actions related to the courses in the area of seeds were increased, being specific and related to several crops of seed producing species. Such activities resulted in the year 1974, in the creation of the Master Course in Seed Science and Technology.
In 1985, aiming to increase the insertion and diffusion in the productive sector, in the area of seeds, the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) in agreement with the Brazilian Association of Higher Agricultural Education (ABEAS), created the Specialization Course in Science and Seed Technology. The creation of this course resulted in innovation in terms of teaching, being offered in the distance tutoring mode. The format in which the Course was taught, innovative for the time, provided the training of professionals who work directly in the production and technology of seeds, without the need for removal of the professional from his workplace, for extended periods of time. Afterwards, the Specialization Course for distance tutoring, due to the demand in the area in other countries, was also offered to Latin American countries such as Bolivia (agreement with Bolivia’s National Semillas Program), Uruguay (agreement with the National Seed Producers Association – ANAPROSE) and Paraguay (agreement with the Paraguay Seed Producers Association – APROSEMP). In 1991, the Seed Area of the Federal University of Pelotas, idealized and started to offer the Doctoral Course, aiming to offer the highest academic title in the area. The Doctoral Course in Seed Science and Technology was the first of the Federal University of Pelotas, constituting the initial milestone of substantial changes in knowledge and scientific research in the institution. Of these, were Brazilians and the others from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Uruguay, etc. Over the years, the Program has established agreements and cooperation agreements with national and international institutions. In addition, he has worked in national and international scientific associations, continued participation in scientific events and a deep and leading role in the productive sector, by offering several short courses, by presenting lectures, conducting consultancies for companies and communicating with the written, spoken and television press. Undoubtedly, such actions significantly increased the participation of Program teachers in all links of the agribusiness production chain.
The commitment and dedication of the members of the Graduate Program in Seed Science and Technology aiming at consolidating as a reference center in the area of Seeds, in terms of staff training, has been an incentive to the Program to advance the position of featured in scientific and technological research on seeds. It is important to point out that the graduates of the Program have been working in the most diverse research institutions in the country and abroad (EMBRAPA, EPAGRI, EPABA, COODETEC, FEPAGRO, IRGA, MAG …), Public Agencies (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Departments of Agriculture …), Producers Associations (APROSESC, ABRASS, APROSMAT, APASSUL, APASEM, APROSEMBA, APROSEMP …), Cooperatives (Cotrijal, Coagrisol, Coagrisoja, COAMO, COOPAVEL, COOPERCAMPOS, CooperAlfa, COOPERBOA , C.Vale, LAR, etc.) and Seed Producing Companies from all Brazilian Regions (Oilema, Van Ass Seeds, Petrovina Seeds, Bom Jesus Seeds, Hulk Fabris Seeds, Grandespe, Costa Drinking Seeds, JotaBasso Seeds, Roos Seeds, Unigel Seeds, Hawk Seeds, Golden Cereal Seeds, Syngenta Seeds, Bayer Seeds, Beautiful Pond Seeds, among many others), Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, Basf. They also act as lecturers in public (UFRGS, IF) and private universities. The Program, seeking to innovate and contribute to seed professionals, created in 2001 the Professional Master. The Professional Master in Seed Science and Technology aims at training seed professionals with consistent knowledge not only in technology but also in scientific research, able to conveniently use the means of disseminating research results, interpret and select relevant information and, finally, adapt, apply and exploit new knowledge, so that it can be incorporated into the productive sector and, thus, contribute decisively to the strengthening of the seed agribusiness sector and the use of new technologies, to achieve an agriculture economically viable in order to better ensure the quality of life for the population.
Essentially, the Program aims at training in the technological area so that graduated professionals can work, step by step, with the most advanced in the area, in matters related to production technology, without forgetting the scientific aspects of modern knowledge that are linked. A fact to be highlighted has been the development of technologies and processes based on master’s dissertations that generate technologies that are being adopted by seed companies and public agencies with positive effects on the use of certified seeds, adoption of new technologies to increase productivity. and incorporation of processes and strategies that favor seed trade as well as increase farmers’ incomes. It is important to highlight the frequent demand of companies for graduates or students in the final phase of the course to work in the areas of production, management, quality, post harvest and coordination; taking into account the solid training provided by the Program associated with the reality of agribusiness. It is noteworthy that agribusiness in Brazil has been of vital importance to the national economy, because it generates jobs and foreign exchange. The faculty of this program has professionals working in the field of seeds and the younger ones are being encouraged to remodel the program and ensure its pioneering spirit. All have training in the area and some with doctorates or internships abroad. For the internationalization process to solidify, there is a possibility that some may take postdocs or courses abroad.