Cigi board of directors, left to right, in the back row: Gary Stanford, Trent Rude, Jean-Marc Ruest, Harvey Brooks, Kevin Bender. In the front row: Brent Watchorn, JoAnne Buth (Cigi CEO), Drew Baker, Bill Gehl, Jim Smolik. Missing: Ward Weisensel. Photo courtesy of Cigi.
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — The Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi), an independent not-for-profit market development institute whose mission is to increase utilization of Canadian grain and field crops, has implemented a new funding model and board structure.

Under the new funding formula, three wheat commissions and seven grain exporters/handlers will provide core funding to Cigi totaling $7.7 million over the next two years. The Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association will fund Cigi through their respective single wheat check-offs, taking the place of the farmer check-off funding Cigi received through the Western Canadian Deduction, which expires on July 31. The grain companies funding Cigi are: Viterra; Richardson International Ltd.; Cargill Canada; Parrish and Heimbecker, Ltd.; Paterson Grain; G3 Canada Ltd.; and Inland Terminal Association of Canada.

Cigi’s new board comprises five representatives from the provincial wheat commissions in Western Canada and five representatives from the grain handlers/exporter sector. The new board officers and directors are:

• Chairman: Kevin Bender, Alberta Wheat Commission

• Vice-chairman: Brent Watchorn, Richardson International Ltd.

• Secretary: Jim Smolik, Cargill Canada

• Directors: Drew Baker, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association; Harvey Brooks, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission; Bill Gehl, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission; Trent Rude, Viterra; Jean-Marc Ruest, Richardson International Ltd.; Gary Stanford, Alberta Wheat Commission; and Ward Weisensel, G3 Canada Ltd.

Three members from Cigi’s previous board of directors — Murdoch MacKay; Henry Van Ankum, farmer, Alma, Ontario; and Lawrence Yakielashek, FarmLink Marketing Solutions — will remain on the board as observers to provide continuity during the transition, Cigi said. Retiring from the Cigi board are Randy Johner, farmer, Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Jim Wilson, farmer, Darlingford, Manitoba, Canada.

 “Today’s announcement represents the culmination of months of consultations involving the value chain,” said JoAnne Buth, chief executive officer of Cigi. “We are extremely pleased that the provincial wheat commissions and the grain companies and handlers developed a consensus on a sustainable funding and governance model for Cigi.  This is an important milestone in Cigi’s 45-year history and we look forward to working with the new board to ensure Cigi remains a strong asset to the Canadian grain industry.”

In addition to its core funders, Cigi receives funding from the federal government through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriMarketing and AgriInnovation programs. Pulse activities are funded through AAFC’s Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, Pulse Canada, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (Manitoba Agriculture) and Warburtons.