The new LCS Quality Lab manager brings 43 years of wheat quality experience to LCS
Limagrain Cereal Seeds (LCS) is pleased to announce that wheat quality veteran Cathy Butti is now leading the LCS Quality Lab. Butti has four decades of experience in the wheat quality industry and holds herself — and her work — to a high standard.
“It’s important to me to provide breeders with consistent, reliable, high-quality data. Just as important as providing data is providing a sense of pride,” says Butti. “I love what I do. I have a real passion for making sure the wheat our customers use is a good quality.”
Butti didn’t grow up on a farm (“I was a city girl,” she laughs), but she was exposed to crop science from an early age thanks to her father, who worked in a sugar beet lab. That introduction, plus an avid interest in cooking, led Butti to pursue a degree in Food and Nutrition from North Dakota State University (NDSU). She landed a work-study position in NDSU’s barley breeding program and began testing new barley varieties for potential malt and beer production. She’s been evaluating grain quality ever since.
A staff member left the NDSU lab right when Butti was graduating, and she took over the position. After more than a year of testing barley full-time, she left NDSU and embarked on a lifelong career in wheat quality. She’s managed quality labs for both AgriPro and Syngenta. She’s worked with wheat breeders across North America, operating within U.S. and Canadian markets to test, document and meet quality standards. She’s built a reputation for excellence that has followed her to LCS.
“We take wheat quality very seriously at LCS,” says LCS Chief Operating Officer Tatiana Henry, noting that LCS is the only private wheat seed company with its own quality lab. “Cathy is an asset to our lab and our team, helping us exceed our farmers’ expectations for milling, baking and overall end-use quality.”
Different end users have different quality requirements, explains Butti. When bread loaves have big volume with a consistent inner texture, bakers can reduce the amount of flour they use. The right amount of water absorption is key for baking cookies. Pizza dough relies on high gluten quality. Ultimately, says Butti, it comes down to seed companies making a commitment to ensuring the quality behind the wheat varieties they release.
“I care about what comes out of here, and that what is done is being done properly,” asserts Butti. “When I talk to the average person and tell them what I do, I hope when they go to the store and look at a loaf of bread, they have a better understanding of what went into it.”