CARMAN, MANITOBA, CANADA —  The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) — a collaboration between the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) and the Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) — announced on Nov. 9 the organization’s newly appointed executive and president following the transition of hosting duties from Sask Wheat to AWC.

Manitoba farmer, Fred Greig, named chairman of the organization. Photo courtesy of CWRC.

The new executive comprises chair Fred Greig with MCA, who farms at Reston, Manitoba; vice chair Jake Leguee with Sask Wheat, a farmer from Fillmore, Saskatchewan; and treasurer Jason Lenz with AWC, who farms near Bentley, Alberta. Additionally, Dr. Lauren Comin, the director of research with AWC, has been named president of the CWRC, succeeding Dr. Harvey Brooks, general manager of Sask Wheat.

“It’s been a historical year for wheat research in Canada,” Greig said. “We saw the execution of two core breeding agreements, marking the largest of these producer contributions toward wheat variety development since their establishment. This would not have been possible without the collaborative environment that the CWRC creates.”

CWRC’s operational hosting duties rotate every three years between the three Prairie commissions who represent wheat farmers. Hosting duties include administrative functions such as accounting services, research funding coordination, communications, including website updates and annual reports, and other responsibilities such as planning and coordinating CWRC’s Annual General Meeting. Sask Wheat was the first commission to host CWRC in its initial startup years. The key contact for external stakeholders, the president, is appointed from the host organization and approved by the CWRC board of directors.

“On behalf of AWC and MCA, we thank Sask Wheat for their diligence and dedication over the past three years while hosting the CWRC,” said Comin, CWRC president and AWC’s director of research. “Managing the CWRC’s operations is a large task at any point, let alone during establishment. This transition has been exceptionally smooth thanks to the processes Sask Wheat has established.”

The CWRC facilitates a collaborative approach to producer support of regional and national wheat research in variety development and agronomy, including administering the Canadian National Wheat Cluster under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. Recently, the CWRC announced a $22.6 million commitment over five years to a core breeding agreement with AAFC to develop wheat varieties. Earlier this year, the CWRC committed more than $9.6 million over five years to a core breeding agreement with the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre.