WGRF Annual and Special Members Meeting Highlights

WGRF’s Annual and Special Members Meeting was held in Winnipeg on April 1, 2019. Members were entitled to send one delegate to the meeting.

Member Organization (Class A) Delegate
Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan Rick Jensen
Alberta Barley Terry James
Alberta Federation of Agriculture Keith Degenhardt
Alberta Wheat Commission Terry Young
BC Grain Producers Association Malcolm Odermatt
Canadian Canola Growers Association Mike Ammeter
Canadian Seed Growers Association Bob Rugg
Keystone Agricultural Producers Jill Verwey
Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association Rauri Qually
National Farmers Union Stewart Wells
Prairie Oat Growers Association Wade Hainstock
Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission Absent
Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission Greg Sundquist
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission Dan Danielson
Western Barley Growers Association Jeff Nielsen
Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association Kenton Possberg
Western Pulse Growers Jackie Carleton
Western Winter Cereal Producers Dale Hicks
Class B  
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Liz Foster

2018 WGRF Highlights

Terry Young, Board Chair, and Garth Patterson, Executive Director summarized WGRF accomplishments in 2018. With investments of more than $14 million in 2018, WGRF remains the largest producer funder of crop research in Canada. Over the past five years WGRF has continued to increase funding commitments from the Endowment Fund. Commitments now total $48 million, 34% of the fund.

Two significant initiatives wrapped up in 2018. First, the $25 million Growing Forward 2 (GF2) National Wheat Improvement Program (Wheat Cluster), which resulted in 50 projects facilitated by 32 researchers across the country. A total of 61 new wheat varieties were developed. The Wheat Cluster is highlighted in “The Harvest,” a comprehensive document created by WGRF, showcasing the scientists and the research. Second, the $11 million GF2 Barley Cluster was completed in 2018. It resulted in nine new varieties being supported for registration as well as agronomy, pathology and value-add projects. “Between the Rows” is a document created by Alberta Barley highlighting the success of the Barley Cluster. Both reports can be found on the WGRF website.

WGRF remains committed to a collaborative approach to funding research through science-based, competitive processes. WGRF funds single crop and multi-crop research in variety development and production by directing funds to 15 different crops.

The Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) was announced in 2018 as the federal program to replace GF2. CAP is an effective way to leverage producer investments. Under CAP, WGRF is leading the Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster (ICAC) and participating in the Clusters for Wheat, Barley, Organic and Diverse Field Crops. WGRF is investing more than $6.4 million in the five agri-science Clusters, for 44 research activities.

Insights gleaned from a survey of WGRF member organizations, directors, staff and external stakeholders provided valuable input into two strategic planning sessions held by the Board in 2018. WGRF’s Strategic Plan was developed following these sessions, it includes a new vision and mission for WGRF. A copy of the plan can be found on the WGRF website. 

WGRF is committed to leading an initiative to expand research capacity in Western Canada. The Board approved up to $20 million in funding for the second phase of strategic capacity investments. Details of this program will be available in April 2019.

Technology transfer is critical to conveying research results to agronomists and producers. WGRF is continually look for opportunities to enhance extension/technology transfer tools and events. We are excited to be a founding sponsor of CanadianAgronomist.ca — a unique website that is translating research into knowledge for agronomists and farmers.

For the past three years WGRF funded research projects have been featured in an annual WGRF Research Review Magazine. The 2018 edition was named as a finalist in the “Company and Association Magazine” category at the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association (CAMA) Awards. The Field Heroes initiative, which WGRF has supported since 2017, was also a finalist in two CAMA categories. Field Heroes has been successful in generating awareness of the role played by beneficial insects in crop production.

More than 455 WGRF funded research projects are now listed at westerngrains.com in a user-friendly, searchable format.

2018 Financial Statements and Report from Auditor

The 2018 financial statements were audited by Twigg & Company. The auditor reported that the audit was clean and that there were no concerns with WGRF’s processes.

The auditor’s report and financials will be included in the 2018 WGRF Annual Report being mailed out in April and is currently posted on the WGRF website. Twigg & Company was re-appointed as Auditor for the 2019 Fiscal Year.

2019-20 WGRF Board of Directors

Members elected the following individuals to the WGRF Board for 2019-20:

Bob Rugg, Elstow, SK

Bruce Dalgarno, Newdale, MB

Dale Hicks, Outlook, SK

Dan Danielson, Eston, SK

Greg Sundquist, Watrous, SK

Jason Skotheim, Spruce Home, SK

Jeff Nielsen, Olds, AB

Jill Verwey, Portage la Prairie, MB

Keith Degenhardt, Hughenden, AB

Kenton Possberg, Humboldt, SK

Malcolm Odermatt, Fort St. John, BC

Mike Ammeter, Sylvan Lake, AB

Rauri Qually, Dacotah, MB

Rick Jensen, Webb, SK

Stewart Wells, Swift Current, SK

Terry James, Vegreville, AB

Terry Young, Lacombe, AB

Wade Hainstock, Moose Jaw, SK

Class A Membership Proposal from the Western Pulse Growers

On February 25, 2019 the Western Pulse Growers submitted a membership proposal to WGRF for consideration at the Annual and Special Members Meeting. The motion stated “That WGRF Board accept Alberta Pulse Growers, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers each as class A members in place of Western Pulse Growers.”

WGRF legal counsel had advised that the resolution could not be voted on because membership is the responsibility of the Board and not the members. The item was left on the agenda for discussion purposes only. Members discussed the composition of Class A membership and its impact on the size of the WGRF Board.