Aug 5, 2011 by Lee Hart

Who’s running this place?

Two western Canadian research and commodity organizations
have announced the appointments of key management positions.

At the Western Grains Research Foundation based in Saskatoon, Garth Patterson has been named executive director, taking over a
position previously held by Lanette Kuchenski, who resigned earlier this year.

Prior to joining WGRF, Patterson has been well known in
the agriculture industry as executive director for the Saskatchewan Pulse
Growers (SPG) for the past 16 years. A WGRF release says, “During this time,
Patterson provided leadership that has contributed greatly to the growth and
development of the pulse sector in Saskatchewan. This has included the
development of innovative programs to commercialize pulse crop varieties that
have led to widespread adoption of many new pulse crop varieties in
Saskatchewan.

“Patterson has also worked for the Saskatchewan Soil
Conservation Association, Cyanamid, Agdevco, the University of Saskatchewan,
and Federated Co-op. Patterson brings with him to WGRF a diverse and in-depth
agricultural background spanning more than 30 years.”

“We are delighted to have hired someone of Garth’s
experience and expertise in the agricultural community for this important
position,” noted Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF board chair. “Garth’s leadership
and direction will undoubtedly contribute to many achievements in the years
ahead for WGRF.”

Kuchenski had served as executive director since 2003,
taking over the post from Lorence Peterson. She resigned at the end of April
2011.

 

CANADA BEEF

And the new organization that brings the services of the
Beef Information Centre, the Canada Beef Export Federation and the National
Check-off Agency, all under one organizational roof is starting to fill
governance and management positions.

Canada Beef, which was created earlier this year after the
various players in the Canadian beef industry agreed to the three-way merger,
now has a board of directors in place as well as a new president.

Brad Wildeman,
from Lanigan, Saskatchewan who has been a driving force in the Canadian beef
industry for years, including past president of the Canadian Cattleman’s
Association, will chair the new Canada Beef board of directors. And
Robert
Meijer
, former director of corporate affairs
with Cargill Limited has been named president of Canada Beef.

There had been a lot of interest in some areas of the beef
industry in seeing who would head the new Canada Beef agency. With the
merger, it had people wondering whether Glenn Brand, CEO of the Beef
Information Centre, or Ted Haney, president of the Canada Beef Export
Federation might be selected to fill the top job. But, the Canada Beef
recruiting committee has gone with a third, outside candidate. The roles of
Brand and Haney in the new organization have yet to be announced.

Wildeman, a beef producer and feedlot operator from
Lanigan, has been very active in many aspects of Canadian beef industry
operation and policy development for years. He served as co-chair of the Canada
Beef Implementation Team tasked with getting the new Canada Beef company up and
running.

 “I welcome
the challenge of being the first board chair of Canada Beef Inc.,” says
Wildeman in a release. “The Canadian cattle and beef industry made clear
their desire for one national independent agency to conduct the industry’s
marketing, promotion and research activities. With the establishment of Canada
Beef Inc., we have accomplished this.”

“Our job now is to pursue prosperity for the Canadian
cattle and beef industry,” he says. “We have a strong and capable
organization, a renewed focus on increasing sales of Canadian beef in both the
domestic and international markets – and a goal of positioning Canadian beef as
the first choice in high quality beef around the world. With Canada Beef Inc.,
I believe it’s a goal that’s within reach.”

Also elected as officers of the 2011-2012 CBI board of
directors were: Dane Guignion (Manitoba
Cattle Producers Association) as vice chair;
Brian Read (XL Meats) as planning and priorities chair; Scott
Ellerton
(Sysco Canada Inc.) as
finance/audit and program performance measurement chair;
Mike Kennedy (Cargill Foods) as international beef trade access
policy advisory chair; and
Chuck MacLean (President, Alberta Beef Producers) as governance chair.

Meijer, has worked in various sectors of the Canadian
agriculture industry over the past 15 years.

Meijer brings 14 years of policy, regulatory, legislative,
political and communications experience to Canada Beef Inc.  In his
position as Cargill director, Meijer has been responsible for Cargill’s
Canadian government/regulatory relations, communication, and community relation
activities.  He has also led and managed emerging issues, business risk
and customer collaboration for 19 business units in the areas of beef, poultry,
milling, malt, grain handling and port services, animal nutrition, canola
processing among others.

He also held a board and/or committee position with a
number of key agricultural organizations including; the Federal Roundtables, Flax
Council of Canada, Malt Industry Association of Canada, Canadian Poultry
Processors Association, Animal Nutrition Association of Canada, Western Grain
Elevator Association, Canada Grains Council, and the Canadian Meat Council.

“Robert Meijer’s appointment as president of Canada Beef
assures our organization of strong, capable and experienced leadership,”
says Wildeman, in a release.  “Rob’s extensive background in the beef
industry ranges from domestic and international marketing to trade and
regulatory issues.  This, coupled with his dynamic approach to taking the
interests of Canada Beef forward on the domestic and world stages, will serve
the Canadian cattle and beef industry well.”

“I am very energized by this tremendous opportunity
and dedicate myself to doing what is best for our producers and industry
partners,” says Meijer.

So far neither Western Grains or Canada beef has called me
to fill a plumb position as industry ambassador, but I am sticking close to the
phone.

Lee
Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at
[email protected]

 

Lee Hart

Lee Hart


Lee Hart is a long-time farm writer, and honorary member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, with many observations on the agriculture industry, who never hesitates to admit he is wrong (should that ever happen.)


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