Merged Manitoba crop groups qualify for checkoffs

Manitoba Crop Alliance also names top brass

The new unit formed from the merger of five Manitoba crop commodity organizations is set to begin collecting checkoffs for its founding groups’ crops, starting Aug. 1.

The Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) announced Monday it now has its designation under the provincial Agricultural Producers’ Organization Funding Act. The designation allows the new organization to collect mandatory-yet-refundable checkoffs on all sales of spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, sunflowers, corn and flax.

The amounts of the checkoffs are “unchanged to what was in place with the five amalgamating organizations” — the National Sunflower Association of Canada, Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Flax Growers Association and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association and Winter Cereals Manitoba.

MCA applied in February for the designation regulation from the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council, following votes by the five groups’ memberships during annual general and special meetings at the CropConnect Conference in Winnipeg.

Also effective Aug. 1, Manitoba Corn Growers Association and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association general manager Pam de Rocquigny will be the MCA’s CEO, and National Sunflower Association of Canada and Winter Cereals Manitoba executive director Darcelle Graham becomes the new group’s chief operating officer.

MCA said its new checkoffs will be invested in three main areas, making up 86 per cent of MCA’s total budget: research and production; market access and development; and communication and advocacy.

“Each dollar spent in these areas is an investment from Manitoba farmers which helps to make wheat (spring and winter), barley, sunflower, corn, and flax profitable production choices for Manitoba farmers,” MCA said in a release.

Checkoff-funded initiatives “will also work to maintain and continuously improve the competitiveness of these crops both domestically and internationally.”

MCA also said Monday that its new website will go live Aug. 4. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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