History

Manitoba Crop Alliance’s History

Prior to Manitoba Crop Alliance’s launch on August 1, 2020, farmers in Manitoba who grew and marketed spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, corn, sunflowers and flax were represented by five commodity organizations: Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA), Manitoba Winter Cereals, Inc. (WCMI), Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA) and the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC).

2015-2016

On April 2, 2015, several commodity organizations in Manitoba met to discuss issues and challenges that faced each organization. The following year, Manitoba commodity organizations again met to discuss “Responding to the Common Operational Risks and Challenges”. In November 2016, DobsonLead was hired to determine "How can Manitoba commodity organizations work more effectively to maximize member value?"

2017

Following a presentation by DobsonLead at the 2017 CropConnect Conference titled "Strengthening member value of Manitoba’s commodity organizations", five commodity organizations (Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers Association and the National Sunflower Association of Canada) signed a memorandum of understanding. The MOU was for the five organizations to work towards merging into one organization to increase efficiencies and maximize profitability and sustainability for Manitoba farmers. A steering committee was formed with two directors from each of the five organizations to develop a proposal that would form the foundation and initiate the process that would establish Manitoba Crop Alliance

After hiring Synthesis Agri-Food Network to work with the steering committee, the first proposal was released to farmer members on December 14, 2017.

2018

Starting in 2018, a round of in-person consultations took place in addition to presentations at the five annual general meetings of the organizations to hear from members on the proposal. Based on feedback received, work began by the steering committee to develop a revised proposal.

On July 30, 2018 Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers stepped back from the process. The steering committee continued its work looking at legal amalgamation as part of the proposal. On November 22, 2018 Winter Cereals Manitoba, Inc. joined the discussion and became part of the steering committee.

On December 12, 2018, a revised proposal was released to farmer members that reflected changes to address the concerns heard during the consultation period. It was also re-affirmed from a September 18, 2019 news release that the member vote would take place in February 2020.

2019

During 2019, webinars were held in January followed by the annual general meetings to provide information to members on the revised proposal. In Starting in September, additional documentation was provided to members including Manitoba Crop Alliance’s draft by-laws and amalgamation agreement.

As part of the incorporation process, an interim board of directors for Manitoba Crop Alliance were appointed from the five commodity organizations. The interim directors include from MWBGA Fred Greig, Robert Misko and Drew Baker, from NSAC Mark McDonald and Gregg Fotheringham, from WCMI Doug Martin, from MFGA Nick Matheson and Eric Fridfinsson, and from MCGA Patrick Friesen, Myron Krahn and Reginald Johnson. Manitoba Crop Alliance’s executive committee was also elected by the interim directors. Fred Greig serves as chair, Robert Misko as vice-chair and Doug Martin as secretary. The name of the new organization – Manitoba Crop Alliance – was also announced on November 25, 2019.

Webinars were held in November and December to inform farmer members of the proposal, legal documents associated with the process, and voting procedures.

2020

Two more webinars were held as a lead up to the annual general and special meetings (AGSM) of the five organizations.

The five AGSMs occurred during the CropConnect Conference on February 12 and 13, 2020. A total of 165 ballots were cast at the five AGSMs. With two thirds majority of members voting in favour of the special resolution to amalgamate at each of the five AGSMs, the legal amalgamation of the five organizations with the Manitoba Crop Alliance, Inc. was approved by members.

A petition was submitted by Manitoba Crop Alliance’s board of directors to the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council (MFPMC) on February 14, 2020. The petition was part of the process for the Manitoba Crop Alliance to gain their designation regulation under The Agricultural Producers’ Organization Funding Act to collect levy on the seven crop types at the same levy amounts as currently remitted.

On June 22, 2020, Manitoba Crop Alliance received its designation regulation under The Agricultural Producers’ Organization Funding Act. This allows for the collection of a mandatory check-off from all sales of wheat (spring and winter), barley, sunflowers, corn, and flax in Manitoba.

On July 6, 2020, Manitoba Crop Alliance launched its new logo and announced its management team of Pam de Rocquigny and Darcelle Graham.

On August 1, 2020, as a result of significant collaborative effort on the part of the steering committee comprised of directors from the founding five organizations and support from the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council and Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Development, the new Manitoba Crop Alliance was officially launched.