Keystone Agricultural Producers are about to face a little bit of Justice as they welcome Dan Mazier to the role of president.
The long-time KAP board member and former vice-president farms in the Westman region — close to the tiny community of Justice — and was acclaimed at the organization’s annual general meeting in Winnipeg last week. He takes over from Doug Chorney, who had reached the end of his four-year term.
“I think we’re in really good shape and I feel like I’ve got a good understanding of the organization,” Mazier said, adding that he intends to focus on member communication as he moves forward in his new role.
“There was some good discussion about how the commodity groups do it, but we can always do better,” he said, noting new technologies and connectivity mean farmers don’t have to be in the same room to have a discussion anymore.
“Guys can communicate with us now in a lot of ways, we don’t have to sit in meetings till all hours of the night, so that’s one of my organizational goals,” he said.
The new president will also continue to push for policies that benefit Manitoba producers, building on KAP’s previous work.
“Working with the government, with bills that are on the table right now — producer payment securities, CTA review, surface water management strategy, various rural development initiatives that are ongoing — we’ll keep on pushing on those, and get some good work done on that,” said Mazier.
The registered seed producer also sits on many committees within the organization, and is a member of the newly created Assiniboine River Basin Initiative’s steering committee.
Two new vice-presidents were also elected at the annual meeting.
Justin Jenner, who previously represented District 9, will take on the role of vice-president for the first time. District 1 director Glenn Young of Cypress River will fill the role of vice-president.
Curtis McRae stepped down from the role of vice-president, after being elected to the position in 2013.
“We had really good people who signed up to be VP this year, really strong people who are going to carry this organization forward,” said McRae. “And sometimes when you get older you realize where the important things are in life, so I had an opportunity to slow down my commitment to KAP so I could have family time … but in saying that, my time here has been incredible.”
Chorney also took the opportunity to thank all those who he’d worked with during his tenure as president, adding that he “knows KAP is in good hands” as it moves forward.
“There is strong leadership, high-performing staff and excellent membership support,” he said, noting strong bonds have been formed between members of the management team that will continue even as they move onto new challenges.