Seed World

Wheat Coalition Elects First Executive

The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC), a federal not-for-profit corporation that will facilitate long-term investments aimed at improving profitability and competitiveness for Canadian wheat farmers, has elected its first executive from its Board of Directors.

Lacombe, Alberta farmer Terry Young, who is a director with the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), will be the inaugural Chair for the CWRC. He will be joined on the executive by Radisson, Saskatchewan farmer and Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) director Laura Reiter, who was elected as the Vice-Chair. The Secretary/Treasurer position will be served by Cale Jefferies, who farms near Glenboro, Manitoba and sits as a director of the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA).

The CWRC’s first board consists of eight farmers including Kevin Auch, Jason Saunders and Terry Young representing AWC, Ken Rosaasen, Glenn Tait and Laura Reiter representing Sask Wheat, and Cale Jefferies and Dylan Wiebe representing MWBGA. The CWRC will be administered by a host commission, which will rotate every three years starting with Sask Wheat.

“The three Prairie wheat commissions are committed to working together to drive farmer investment in varietal development and regional priorities,” said Young. “We have seen excellent results in variety development thanks to farmer investment and we anticipate the development of new, high-performing varieties that result in better returns and increased competitiveness for farmers.”

The formation of the CWRC directly follows the commissions’ recent shift to a single wheat check-off that coincided with the end of the end of the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) on July 31, 2017. Under the previous check-off structure, the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) took the lead on core wheat breeding agreements and the national wheat cluster through WCD funding.

The CWRC will facilitate a collaborative approach to producer funding of regional and national research projects in variety development and agronomy including the next Canadian National Wheat Cluster and core wheat breeding agreements with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and universities. Additional regional projects that align with variety development and agronomic priorities will also be considered for funding through the CWRC.

The CWRC will be looking to expand its membership in the near future by engaging other organizations who share the mandate and goals of the founding CWRC commissions.