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WCWGA searching for new executive director

Robin Speer, who has had the job since Nov. 2, 2015, joined CN Rail last month

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) is seeking a new executive director.

Robin Speer, who took over the job from Blair Rutter Nov. 2, 2015, joined CN Rail in mid-September as manager for public affairs in Saskatchewan.

Speer said in his new position he will work with Saskatchewan municipalities, industry organizations, city and provincial officials.

“I will continue liaising with grower groups and agriculture organizations to work together on those key files to get our grain to market,” Speer said in an interview Oct. 13.

“I am very excited to join CN at this time. I think it’s a critical time now. It is investing in infrastructure across Canada and that’s key for our farmers. The reality is those harvests are going to get bigger and bigger and we’ve got to get that to market for sure.”

Originally from North Battleford, Sask., Speer said his time at the WCWGA gave him insight into grain transportation issues.

“In my role with the Wheat Growers I interacted with the railways often and learned more about the role the railways play in the economy and obviously in Western Canada,” Speer said. “All that being said, it is an exciting time to join that company and to see directly how it operates and see what holds for the entire industry. It’s a critical company for the backbone of the economy. Grain in Saskatchewan, and also fertilizer, are key components of the supply chain.”

Meanwhile, the WCWGA wants to find a new executive director as soon as possible, president Levi Wood said in an email.

“Robin was an extremely strong executive director for our organization and his work has left us in a really good position,” Wood wrote.

“Our goal is to bring someone in who can continue to build on the work that Robin has been doing.

“In the interim all of our organizational work is still being handled collectively by our board in combination with the same communications/operations company we have been using for a number of years.”

Before joining the WCWGA Speer served as manager of government and commercial relations at Viterra, as well as vice-president of public affairs at the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. Speer also worked for Gerry Ritz soon after he was first elected as a Reform MP in 1997.

About the author

Reporter

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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