Western Canada’s newest farmer-funded research organization has elected its first executive committee.
The Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) will be led by chairperson Terry Young, a wheat grower from Lacombe, Alta., vice-chair Laura Reiter from Radisson, Sask., and secretary-treasurer Cale Jefferies from Glenboro, Man.
The executive team was an-nounced Oct. 17.
CWRC is a federal non-profit corporation that was created to facilitate long-term investments in wheat research that will improve the profitability and competitiveness of western Canadian wheat growers.
The coalition is jointly funded by the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (SaskWheat) and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA).
“The three prairie wheat commissions are committed to working together to drive farmer investment in varietal development and regional priorities,” said Young in an Oct. 17 news release.
“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 formation of the CWRC follows a decision by provincial wheat commissions to switch to a single wheat check-off that coincided with the end of the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD) on July 31, 2017.
Under the previous check-off structure, the Western Grains Research Foundation was responsible for managing core wheat breeding agreements through WCD funding.
The CWRC will look to expand its membership in the near future by engaging other organizations that share the mandate and goals of the founding CWRC commissions.
The CWRC is aimed at fostering a collaborative approach to producer funding of regional and national wheat research projects, said the news release. Its efforts will be focused in the areas of variety development and agronomy.
It will support work within the Canadian National Wheat Cluster as well as core wheat breeding agreements with Agriculture Canada and Canadian universities.
Additional regional projects that align with variety development and agronomic priorities will also be considered for funding through the CWRC.