Producers will see a familiar name on Roquette’s staff, moving forward.
Anastasia Kubinec, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development’s (MARD) manager of crop industry development, has switched out her government credentials for a position with pea processor Roquette as an agronomist.
Kubinec’s last day with the province was Sept. 4. She started her new job Sept. 8.
Roquette, the French-owned multinational, hopes to open its new $400-million pea protein plant under construction near Portage la Prairie late this year.
After working for MARD for 12 years, Kubinec said she will miss her colleagues.
“I worked with a lot of great people,” she said in an interview Sept. 2. “I got to work with my idols John Heard (a MARD soil fertility specialist) and John Gavloski (MARD’s extension entomologist).”
Kubinec joined the provincial Agriculture Department in 2008 as the oilseed specialist but became a manager in March 2016.
While she says she enjoyed the job and learned a lot, Kubinec also said she missed agronomy, which is what she’ll do in her new position working with Manitoba and Saskatchewan farmers contracted to grow peas for Roquette.
“It (management) was very interesting, but I definitely enjoy agronomy,” she said.
“Agriculture in Manitoba is a very small world. I have been given lots of opportunities and I have appreciated them all and I have learned piles from all of them. I see this as another opportunity to learn more about something very different that has come into Manitoba. Developing crops specifically for protein is not what guys are thinking of.
“It’s a bit of a shift. It’s an opportunity for Manitoba farmers. I think it’s a big opportunity for industry too in Manitoba through a different path, which I think will only bring good things for agriculture in Manitoba.”
In the last five years, Manitoba farmers have increased pea plantings by 88 per cent, averaging 95,418 insured acres (106,000 acres in 2019) versus, on average, 50,808 insured acres from 2010 to 2014.
Kubinec and her family operate the farm she grew up on near Holland.
She began her undergraduate degree in agriculture (plant science) at the University of Manitoba in 1995. In March 2001 she graduated with a master’s degree in weed science, also from the University of Manitoba.
Her first job after university was with contract research company ICMS in Edmonton where she was also a sessional lecturer in the weeds section on integrated pest management at the University of Alberta for a year.
In 2002 she joined Canterra Seeds in Winnipeg where she held various positions, including senior agronomist before moving to the provincial Agriculture Department in August 2008.
Kubinec will join provincial Ag Department alumnus Bruce Brolley at Roquette.
Brolley was the province’s pulse crop specialist before taking on the same management position Kubinec had when she left MARD.
Brolley left the department in December 2015.