Western Grains Research Foundation Announces New Executive Director

July 21, 2011 at 09:03 AM

Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) today announced that Mr. Garth Patterson will be taking over as Executive Director for WGRF.

Mr. Patterson has been the Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) for the past 16 years. During this time, Patterson provided leadership that has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the pulse sector in Saskatchewan. This has included the development of innovative programs to commercialize pulse crop varieties that have led to widespread adoption of many new pulse crop varieties in Saskatchewan.

Patterson has also worked for the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association, Cyanamid, Agdevco, the University of Saskatchewan, and Federated Co-op. Patterson brings with him to WGRF a diverse and in-depth agricultural background spanning more than 30 years. “These are exciting times for WGRF, said Patterson. “I am looking forward to working with WGRF and welcome the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead”.

“We are delighted to have hired someone of Garth’s experience and expertise in the agricultural community for this important position,” noted Dr. Keith Degenhardt, WGRF Board Chair. “Garth’s leadership and direction will undoubtedly contribute to many achievements in the years ahead for WGRF.”

WGRF is a non-profit organization that is farmer funded and directed. WGRF supports crop research that directly benefits prairie farmers by investing producer funds in research through an Endowment Fund and the Wheat and Barley Check-off Funds.

Patterson will begin work with WGRF on August 15.

For further information, contact:

Mike Espeseth
Communications Manager
Western Grains Research Foundation
(306) 975-0365
communications@westerngrains.com

WGRF Endowment Fund Scholarship Announced

July 19, 2011 at 08:05 AM

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) Endowment Fund is pleased to announce that a Graduate Scholarship has been established. Starting in June of 2011 WGRF will be providing $100,000 a year towards Graduate Scholarships at the three prairie university.

This Scholarship will help and encourage top students to further their studies in crop research. WGRF sees great value in attracting the best minds to crop research; to generate improved technology and productivity for western crop producers. The Scholarship will be administered on a rotating basis between the University of Manitoba, University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. Each university will receive $100,000 every three years. Each university can choose to fund one Ph. D Student at rate of $33,000 per year for three years or two Master Students at $25,000 per year for two years.

The WGRF Endowment Fund mandate is to support research for a broad range of crops, WGRF believes that committing Endowment Fund money to graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement is a very worthwhile investment for producers. WGRF has been investing producer dollars in agriculture research and breeding  programs at these institutions for a number of years. “Access to highly trained specialists in crop research is essential for the sustainability and growth of a vibrant and competitive agriculture economy in Western Canada” noted Don Dewar Chairman of the WGRF Endowment Fund Advisory Committee.

We are delighted with the leadership the Western Grains Research Foundation’s has shown by funding graduate scholarships in the area of crop science,” said Dr. John Kennelly, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. “This generous gift will help us tremendously in our efforts to develop expertise and capacity in crop science, a field that is the foundation of all agricultural activity.” “We are deeply grateful to WGRF for the foresight demonstrated in establishing these generous scholarships that will enable future thinkers and leaders to train with today’s best research scholars. WGRF’s investment will support creative research and innovative solutions to the issues that industries and society face today and tomorrow.” said Dr. Mary Buhr, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan.

Michael Trevan, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba, said, “The University of Manitoba has a proud tradition of graduate education in the agricultural sciences, particularly in grains and oilseeds research. We believe successful graduate students are vital to the Canadian agri-food industry and we are thrilled to receive his generous funding, which will encourage and enable young crop researchers in their studies.”

The University of Manitoba will be accepting scholarship applications in August for the upcoming academic year. Details on how to apply for the WGRF Endowment Fund Scholarship can be found on the university of Manitoba website www.umanitoba.ca/afs

For further information, contact:

Mike Espeseth
Communications Manager
Western Grains Research Foundation
(306) 975-0365
communications@westerngrains.com