A year after beginning to explore the idea, votes at Monday’s annual general meetings of both the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission will see the two groups amalgamate into one.
Brett Halstead, chair of Sask Wheat, spoke with RealAgriculture field editor Atley Hamlin right after the vote (listen to interview below.)
Halstead says that amalgamation can make sense for a smaller commission, where a large portion of a limited budget ends up dedicated to administration. Joining forces means that savings on administration can be directed towards longer-term projects, such as research and market development, instead.
“We all represent the same farmers, and that’s why our provincial groups do try to work together on files of common interests. We feel we have a lot of the same producers and we have their best interests in mind,” he says.
Over the past year, an online consultation process showed that approximately 95 per cent of producers were on board with the idea of amalgamating.
With a target date of August 1, 2023 set for amalgamation, following regulatory approvals, the new Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission will then assume the mandate for winter wheat, fall rye, and winter triticale, including research, advocacy, market development, grower relations, and communications activities, in addition to the current mandate of Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission for spring wheat and durum.