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Alberta wheat grower to lead WCWGA

Kevin Bender, a 38-year-old Bentley, Alta., farmer, is the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association’s (WCWGA) new president.

Bender, who farms 3,800 acres with his father and brother, takes over from Mossbank, Sask., farmer Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, who stepped down after holding the position for almost five years.

Bender was elected by the WCWGA’s board of directors, association chair Mike Bast said in a new release.

Bender, who has a bachelor of religion degree from Taylor University College in Edmonton, is also a director with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. He and his wife Sara have three children.

“It’s an exciting time to be a grain farmer,” Bender said. “There is tremendous potential in the western Canadian agriculture industry and the Wheat Growers will continue to promote policy changes to help us reach that full potential.”

Bender becomes the 15th president of the WCWGA in its 39-year history.

The WCWGA, which started off as the Palliser Wheat Growers Association, was formed by farmers frustrated by what they believed to be poor performance by the Canadian Wheat Board. The organization is a vocal advocate for an open wheat and barley market in Western Canada.

The WCWGA was to hold its annual meeting Jan. 8 and 9 in Winnipeg.

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