WGRF Members Update April 2022

2021 Annual General Meeting

The WGRF Annual Members’ Meeting was held in Saskatoon on April 5, 2022. The 2021 financial statements were audited by Lingard + Dreger LLP. The auditor reported that the audit was clean and that there were no concerns with WGRF’s processes. The 2021 WGRF Annual report is posted on the WGRF website and will be mailed out to all member organizations.

WGRF is a unique farmer directed organization focused on funding research for the benefit of western Canadian farmers. 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 who grow a mix of more than 30 crops across various soil zones throughout Western Canada. The diversity of their farming experiences, regional locations, soil textures and crops provide great perspective for the Board to direct investments into research projects that show the most potential to benefit western Canadian grain farmers.

2022 WGRF Board of Directors

Dr. Keith Degenhardt (Chair), Hughenden, AB

Kevin Auch, (Vice-Chair), Carmangay, AB 

Bill Prybylski, Willowbrook, SK

Dave Bishop, Barons, AB

Dick Wymenga, Leslieville, AB

Doug Martin, East Selkirk, MB

Greg Sundquist, Watrous SK

Glenn Wright, Vanscoy, SK

Jeff Nielsen, Olds, AB

Jill Verwey, Portage la Prairie, MB

Kenton Possberg, Humboldt, SK

Laura Reiter, Radisson, SK

Malcolm Odermatt, Fort St. John, BC

Mark Akins, Hearne, SK

Mike Ammeter, Sylvan Lake, AB

Stewart Wells, Swift Current, SK

Wade Hainstock, Moose Jaw, SK

April 5, 2022 Board Meeting

The following Directors were elected to positions on WGRF Committees:

Chair: Dr. Keith Degenhardt

Vice Chair: Kevin Auch

Executive Committee: Keith Degenhardt (Chair), Kevin Auch, Jill Verwey, Laura Reiter, Malcom Odermatt. 

Research Committee: Malcom Odermatt (Chair), Adam Littman, Greg Sundquist, Kenton Possberg, Kevin Auch.

Governance Committee: Dave Bishop (Chair), Bill Prybylski, Jill Verwey, Stewart Wells, Wade Hainstock.

Investment Committee: Wade Hainstock (Chair), Doug Martin, Dick Wymenga, Mark Akins.

WGRF Member Outreach

To learn more about what is happening at WGRF and share your research priorities with us please contact MikeEspeseth@wgrf.ca. We look forward to meeting with you either virtually or in person at an upcoming Board Meeting.

WGRF Cross-Cutting Research Priorities Established

In January 2021, WGRF launched the Future Field Crop Research Needs process as part of our 40th anniversary. Over 300 farmers, agronomists, scientists, industry and WGRF Class A members participated in the initiative that wrapped up in November. Out of this process WGRF developed cross-cutting crop research priorities. WGRF has a unique role to play in helping provide producers with answers to these questions that will ultimately benefit their operation, no matter what crop they grow.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP)

WGRF is a significant funder in the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Cluster programs. We have committed over $6.4 million to five agri-science research clusters. The combined value of these clusters is more than $80 million in integrated crop agronomy, wheat, barley, organic and diverse field crops. Preparation for the agricultural policy framework to replace the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which ends March 31, 2023, is underway and WGRF anticipates being involved in several program clusters once again.

WGRF Director Eligibility

Based on the results of consultations with Class A members, the Board has decided NOT to propose a resolution to amend the Bylaws to change Board Director eligibility criteria.

Phase 2 Capacity Initiative

To maintain scientific advances at the rate required by today’s producers, it’s important for prairie-based researchers to have the tools they need to stay ahead of the curve. Through WGRF’s Capacity-building Initiatives, equipment, buildings and people are now in place across Western Canada to increase research capacity for many decades.  Phase 2 Capacity Announcements to date:

  • $3.3 Million to Enhance Capacity at AAFC
  • $500,000 U of S – Entomology lab
  • $253,000 Farming Smarter – plot seeder and plot combine
  • $293,492 Gateway Research Organization – plot combine.
  • $727,470 Indian Head Research Foundation – equipment and infrastructure.
  • $288,550 U of A Wheat Breeding – plot seeder and combine.
  • $266,931 Conservation Learning Centre – plot combine.
  • $266,942 Chinook Applied Research Assoc – field equipment. 
  • $300,000 Mackenzie Applied Research Assoc.
  • $60,440 East Central Research Foundation – infrastructure.
  • $284,000 U of A Breton Plots – field equipment.
  • Additional projects to be announced ($17.5M)

Executive Director Search

Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director since 2011 will be leaving WGRF at the end of 2022. Ralph Kikkert of STRIVE will be assisting with the search for a new ED.