Jared Munro, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s (MASC) new chief executive officer, has worked for the Crown agency since 2008 and has been acting CEO since Neil Hamilton retired from the job last June.
“I’ve had an interesting career here so far,” Munro said in an interview March 15. “I’ve been involved in lots of different aspects of what we do so I think that’s prepared me well for this role and to have a good idea of what happens in each of the areas.”
MASC administers AgriInsurance, a program funded by the federal and provincial governments and farmers, as well as farm lending programs formerly administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Credit Corporation.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jared Munro, building on his years of experience in the agricultural sector and with MASC,” Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler said in a news release. “MASC is an essential partner for many Manitoba farmers and his expertise will be invaluable in supporting that work.”
Munro, who is still involved in a six-generation farm near Portage la Prairie, where MASC is headquartered, knows MASC well having worked at several different positions there the last 10 years starting as an agronomist in the claim services area.
“I was ensuring adjusters had the proper training to do their jobs and making sure that their manuals and procedures were up to date,” Munro said. “I also worked closely with the processing staff here in the Portage office. It gave me a good grasp on claim calculation and those sorts of programs.”
In 2011 MASC was tapped to administer a flood recovery office, which Munro managed. The office provided assistance for not just farmers, but home and cottage owners and flood evacuees.
“It was quite an experience for sure,” he said. “Definitely not all agricultural.”
In 2014 Munro was named manager of program development, which involved both lending and crop insurance. That’s when Munro started working with various farm associations to ensure MASC programs met farmers’ needs, he said.
In February 2016 Munro was named vice-president of research and program development after Paul Bonnett retired from the position.
Although he has been acting CEO for almost 10 months, Munro said now he can “move ahead with a little more determination.”
“One of the things I am really excited about is our digital business transformation strategy that we’re working on, which will result in a lot better online experience for our clients and I think make it a lot easier for them to do business with us,” Munro said. “We’re looking forward to rolling out some of those features over the next year.”
MASC staff are constantly looking to improve service and programs, but changes must be co-ordinated through the federal and provincial governments.
MASC is also overseen by a board of directors appointed by the Manitoba government and that reports to the minister of agriculture.
“We’re always proud to say (at MASC) that we insure the highest percentage of annual crop acres across the country,” Munro said. “We are among the most efficient deliverers of AgriInsurance as well. But certainly we want to keep those things as well so we work hard to make sure we’re developing products that our producers need.”