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CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA — Terry Young, director of the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), has been elected the inaugural chairman of the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC). The CWRC was formed in August to facilitate long-term investments aimed at improving profitability and competitiveness for Canadian wheat farmers.

Young will be joined on the executive team by Laura Reiter and Cale Jefferies. Reiter, director of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (SWDC), has been elected vice-chair, while Jefferies, a director at the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), was elected secretary/treasurer.

The CWRC’s board will consist of eight farmers, including Young, Kevin Auch and Jason Saunders representing the AWC; Reiter, Ken Rosaasen and Glenn Tait representing the SWDC; and Jefferies and Dylan Wiebe representing the MWBGA.

The CWRC will be administered by a host commission, which will rotate every three years starting with the SWDC.

“The three Prairie wheat commissions are committed to working together to drive farmer investment in varietal development and regional priorities,” Young said. “We have seen excellent results in variety development thanks to farmer investment and we anticipate the development of new, high-performing varieties that result in better returns and increased competitiveness for farmers.”

The CWRC will facilitate a collaborative approach to producer funding of regional and national research projects in variety development and agronomy, including the next Canadian National Wheat Cluster and core wheat breeding agreements with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and universities. Additional regional projects that align with variety development and agronomic priorities also will be considered for funding through the CWRC.

The CWRC said it will be looking to expand its membership in the near future by engaging other organizations who share the mandate and goals of the founding CWRC commissions.