Alberta farmer Todd Hames was elected Monday as the chair of the board for the recently reconstituted Cereals Canada, at its first-ever annual meeting.
The ‘new’ Cereals Canada was created June 1 when it and the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) amalgamated after two years of discussions and the approval of their respective boards April 13.
Hames, who farms northwest of Lloydminster near Marwayne, also chairs the Alberta Wheat Commission and served as chair of Alberta Canola.
Hames, has a degree in computer engineering from the University of Alberta and worked as a software engineer before returning to the family farm in 1991, according to Cereals Canada.
Hames, “a dedicated zero tillage farmer,” has grown canola, wheat, peas and barley under conservation tillage for 25 years.
“I believe in working together in partnerships to achieve larger goals,” Hames states on his Twitter account.
Why it matters: Cereals Canada has an important and challenging mandate: representing Canada’s cereal sector from farmer to exporter, based on consensus, with a goal of all making all participants better off.
The new Cereals Canada board has 16 directors, who elected Jennifer Marchand of Cargill as vice-chair, Robert Misko as treasurer and Jean-Marc Ruest as secretary.
Misko farms at Roblin, Man., and is a director with the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA); Ruest, Cereal’s Canada’s former chair, is Richardson’s senior vice-president of corporate affairs and general counsel.
The executive committee will also serve as the search committee to find a CEO, Hames noted in a release Tuesday. That job is currently held by Cam Dahl.
A human resources consultant has been hired to lead the search, Dahl said in an interview Tuesday.
“The board needs to do its due diligence at looking at all the available candidates and that’s in the best interests of the organization,” he said. “And I absolutely believe that.”
The board also selected a governance committee consisting of Jake Leguee, Henry Van Ankum, Jeff Bertholet and Jeff Cockwill.
Leguee is a Saskatchewan farmer and vice-chair of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission; Van Ankum farms in Ontario and is a director of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Bertholet and Cockwill are with BASF and Viterra, respectively.
Cereal Canada’s new board and CEO will consider where to locate, Ruest said in an interview April 14.
Cereals Canada, with six employees, is located in the old Grain Exchange Building in downtown Winnipeg; Cigi has just under 30 staff located a few blocks away. in the Canadian Grain Commission building.
While Cigi — created in 1972 to teach Canadian grain customers, including millers and bakers, how to get the most value from Canadian grain — is now part of Cereals Canada, its role and name will continue, outgoing Cigi chair Trent Rude said in an interview April 14.
“One of the main things we wanted to do is maintain the brand of Cigi,” Rude said. “In the milling industry globally it has a very, very strong brand and is very well respected when it comes to nations around the world that are buying Canadian wheat and milling Canadian wheat. That was one of the main, important things.”
Meanwhile, the amalgamation between Cereals Canada and Cigi is proceeding smoothly, Dahl said.
“According to the bylaws we needed 21 days notice for an annual meeting so in fact (Monday) was the very first day that we could provide that much notice after June 1,” he said. “So as quickly as we can, the members and directors have come together to take those next steps to secure the future of the new organization.”
— Allan Dawson reports for the Manitoba Co-operator from Miami, Man.
Cereals Canada: The board
|Todd Hames (chair)||AWC|
|Jean-Marc Ruest (secretary)||Richardson|
|Jennifer Marchand (vice-chair) .||Cargill|
|Darren Amerongen||Parrish and Heimbecker|
|Robert Misko (treasurer)||MWBGA|
|Henry Van Ankum||Grain Farmers of Ontario|