PCs Appoint New Board for Manitoba Ag Services Corp

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has made some big changes in the boardroom of the province’s agriculture insurance and lending agency.

With the exception of one director, the NDP-appointed board for the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) has been replaced.

Jim Wilson, a grain farmer and accountant from Darlingford, has been named the new chair of the board, while former federal agriculture minister Charlie Mayer has been appointed vice-chair.

The newly-appointed directors are Karen Fatteicher, Suszanne Jones, Darrel McElroy, Laurent Ponsin and Diane Rourke. East Selkirk-area farmer Doug Chorney, former president of Keystone Ag Producers, has been extended as an existing director.

“The individuals appointed and extended on the board of the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation will play an important role in supporting agricultural stakeholders in our province,” said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler, in a statement on Monday. “Agriculture is a key economic driver in Manitoba and I have great confidence in the experience, knowledge and abilities of the newly formed board of MASC in helping to further grow and diversify the sector.”

Wilson has previously served on the boards of Agricore United, the Canada Grains Council, and the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance. He’s currently also a director for the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) and Canterra Seeds.

Mayer spent 15 years as Member of Parliament for Portage-Marquette, serving as Minister of State for the Canadian Wheat Board, Minister of State for Grains and Seedoils and as Minister of Agriculture. He operated a mixed cattle and irrigated crop farm.

As for the other new MASC directors, here are their backgrounds, courtesy the province’s communications staff:

  • Karen Fatteicher is co-owner of 360 AG Consulting, which provides agronomic services to producers. She has experience working in the chemical, grain and retail industries in Manitoba.
  • Suszanne Jones is an owner and partner in a seed farm. She formerly operated a cattle ranch for more than 30 years. Jones has held numerous board appointments including director of Marquette Co-op and Manitoba Agriculture Credit Corporation.
  • Darrel McElroy is an agronomist at Hemp Oil Canada Inc. He is a former producer who was one of Manitoba’s first hemp growers when it was licensed to grow commercially in 1998.
  • Laurent Ponsin is a producer and farm owner in St. Eustache. He has also served the community as a volunteer firefighter.
  • Diane Rourke is a farmer, agriculture entrepreneur and advocate for rural life. She is an active volunteer with the Manitoba Agriculture Museum and the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History.

They replace the previous directors — Larry Bohdanovich (vice-chair), Bryan Ferris, Leonard Harapiak, Mary Johnson and Calvin Martin — who Eichler also thanked for their service. Previous MASC chair Frieda Krpan resigned in May.

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