The organizations are looking to have the transition completed by Aug. 1
By Diego Flammini
Two ag organizations in Saskatchewan are officially on the road to amalgamation.
Members of Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission (SWCDC) voted overwhelmingly in favour of amalgamation during annual general meetings for both organizations earlier in the month.
“100 per cent of the registrants at the AGMS voted in favour,” Carol Ann Patterson, executive director of the SWCDC, told Farms.com.
The vote will see Sask Wheat assume SWCDC’s mandate for winter wheat, fall rye and winter triticale. This includes research, advocacy and market development.
This vote followed consultations and feedback over the past year where farmers explored the idea amalgamating.
“Over 95 per cent of farmers in those consultations supported amalgamation,” Patterson said.
The next steps in the amalgamation process are legislative and administrative.
Proper authorities need to be notified of the vote outcome, Patterson said.
“There are two big steps,” she said. “The first is there has to be a regulatory change. All of the commissions in Saskatchewan fall under the Agri-Food Act, and that (law) is administered by the Agri-Food Council. Sask Wheat’s regulations will be amended so that they assume the SWCDC’s mandate. And SWCDC’s regulations will be rescinded.”
Sask Wheat and SWCDC have already alerted the Agri-Food Council about the vote, Patterson said.
The other step in the amalgamation process is “understanding the legalities that fall under the regulations,” Patterson said. “Within the regulations, the commission and the directors are responsible for audited financial statements and responsible to their members. We’re still going through all of that.”
Sask Wheat and SWCDC would like to have the amalgamation effective on Aug. 1, 2023.
This date coincides with the start of the next fiscal year, Patterson said.
This amalgamation is good for farmers, Patterson said.
Sask Wheat can use its platform to promote winter cereals.
“Aside from administrative efficiencies, it’ll make for a stronger organization and a stronger voice for Saskatchewan agriculture,” she said. “With Sask Wheat assuming the mandate, they can put more dollars towards research and policy development.”
And because organizations in Alberta and Manitoba are also including winter cereals in their work, this provides a stronger voice across the prairies.
“I think this gives all three prairie provinces an opportunity to find the best value and find ways to collaborate in terms of putting money into winter cereals,” Patterson added.