Executive Director – Western Grains Research Foundation

WGRF is seeking an Executive Director who, while reporting to the Board of Directors, will manage and direct activities to support the Foundation’s goals and objectives.

WGRF Organization

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) is a farmer-funded and farmer-directed federally registered non-profit organization with registered charity status. Our mission is to invest in agricultural research for the benefit of western Canadian farmers. WGRF is the largest producer funder of field crop research in Canada averaging $14 million of annual funding. Since 1981, WGRF has funded more than $210 million of research in field crops of interest to western Canadian farmers.

The Board consists of 18 Directors, all farmers from across western Canada including BC, AB, SK and MB. Directors are elected to the Board annually by WGRF’s 18 member organizations. The Board will be reviewing its strategic plan in the summer of 2022. The current strategic plan is available at WGRF.ca.

The WGRF office is located at the Innovation Place Research Park in Saskatoon. There are eight employees. The workplace culture encourages excellence through collaboration in a safe environment supported by a participative leadership style.

Job Responsibilities

The WGRF Executive Directors job performance will be considered the same as organization performance.  The Executive Director is responsible to achieve the organization’s strategic plan and follow Board policies. The Board may change its strategic plan and board policies and, by so doing, change the extent of authority given to the Executive Director. With this understanding the Executive Director will serve the Board, organization and its members, and be flexible to change as the organization evolves.

Since the Executive Director interacts closely with the Board and staff it is necessary that the Executive Director is well versed in governance, serving and working with the Board and implementing the direction set by the Board with staff. They need to recognize the authority of the Board and respect their role in serving its members.

Specific Responsibilities:

The Executive Director is responsible and accountable for the complete operations of the organizations and will lead, mentor and supervise staff, create a high performing team and manage a budget and an office. Making effective administrative and operational decisions is a critical element of the job of the Executive Director. 

The Executive Director will need strong people, relational and negotiation skills as he or she will be constantly working with various partner organizations, industry members, the Board and staff. Building positive farmer and industry and staff relations will be a critical role that the Executive Director fulfills.

As a spokesperson for the organization on operational matters the Executive Director will need strong communication skills and a passion and knowledge of research and crop production in Western Canada. 

The Executive Director will passionately support the Vision and Mission of WGRF and ensure WGRF continues to be the leader in research in western Canadian agriculture.

Carry out other responsibilities as required by the Board of Directors.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Intimate Understanding of the Western Canada Agriculture Industry (knowledge of field crop-based agriculture in Western Canada)
  • Proven track record in building and maintaining relationships with farmers, industry and government stakeholders 
  • Demonstrated aptitude as a strategic thinker with the ability to lead and execute
  • Action oriented, with strong organizational and change management skills
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience in creating and leading a team with demonstrated success as a collaborative, inclusive, thoughtful and caring leader 
  • Project management and Agriculture research understanding
  • Ability to build relationships, influence and negotiate
  • Demonstrated financial and investment literacy
  • Ability to represent the organization with stakeholders/producers at appropriate level of contact at all levels.

Education and Work Experience:

The knowledge and skills required for the position will likely have been obtained through a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture or science with significant knowledge of field crop based agriculture in Western Canada and 10 plus years work and management experience in agriculture research or research program management with staff leadership/office management.

In addition, experience working with a Board of Directors is required.

For more information please call Ralph Kikkert from Strive! at 905-512-0347
and forward your resume to: wgrf@strive.com