The newly created Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) has received provincial government approval to start collecting checkoffs from all sales of wheat (spring and winter), barley, sunflowers, corn, and flax in Manitoba starting Aug. 1, the MCA announced in a recent news release.
The checkoff amounts are unchanged to what was in place with the five amalgamating organizations, and remains refundable.
The MCA also announced Pam de Rocquigny will serve as MCA’s chief executive officer. De Rocquigny is currently the general manager of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association.
Darcelle Graham, is MCA’s chief operating officer.
Graham is presently the executive director with the National Sunflower Association of Canada and Winter Cereals Manitoba.
De Rocquigny started with both organizations in February 2017. Before that she worked for Manitoba Agriculture.
Graham brings 14 years of experience in financial and project management.
Both de Rocquigny and Graham graduated from University of Manitoba’s faculty of agricultural and food sciences.
“In addition to their experience and dedication serving Manitoba farmers, Pam and Darcelle each bring a passion for agriculture, strong leadership and management skills to Manitoba Crop Alliance,” Robert Misko, MCA vice-chair, said. “MCA’s board of directors and crop committees look forward to continuing to work with them in their new roles.”
Checkoff funds collected by MCA will be invested in three main areas — research and production, market access and development, and communication and advocacy initiatives — accounting for 86 per cent of MCA’s total budget.
Each dollar spent in these areas is an investment from Manitoba farmers which helps to make wheat, barley, sunflower, corn, and flax profitable for Manitoba farmers, the MCA said.
“We extend our gratitude to the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development for their guidance and support throughout the process,” said Doug Martin, secretary of MCA’s interim board. “It is an exciting hurdle to clear as we move towards Manitoba Crop Alliance becoming operational August 1, 2020.”
The MCA also unveiled its new logo developed by Think Shift.
Think Shift also designed MCA’s new website, which goes live Aug. 4.
“The shield speaks to the strength and stability that comes from the word alliance,” said MCA chair Fred Greig. “Communication with membership and industry stakeholders is a key mandate for the Manitoba Crop Alliance. We look forward to continuing to share the other communication efforts that have been developed for farmer members in August.”
The MCA was created after members of the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Flax Growers Association, National Sunflower Association of Canada and Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. voted in favour of amalgamating at their respective annual meetings in February.