About the Western Grains Research Foundation
WGRF is a farmer funded and directed non-profit organization investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian producers. For 35 years the WGRF Board has given producers a voice in agricultural research funding decisions. WGRF manages an Endowment Fund and the wheat and barley variety development check-off funds, investing over $19 million annually into variety development and field crop research. WGRF brings the research spending power of all farmers in Western Canada together, maximizing the returns they see in crop research.
WGRF was created in 1981 by several western Canadian farm organizations plus a representative from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to administer the $9 million in producer dollars turned over by the federal government from the discontinued Prairie Farm Assistance Act (PFAA), a forerunner of today’s crop insurance program. WGRF was created with the vision of being a research funding organization that would partner with research providers. WGRF began administering the Wheat and Barley Check-offs during the 1993-94 crop year.
WGRF supports many public research programs and projects from across Western Canada, with both long-term and short-term agreements. Each dollar invested is leveraged to attain additional government funds that match or double the investment made by producers.
The Endowment Fund supports research across all crop types, looking specifically at projects that show potential for farmer benefit and demonstrate scientific merit. This fund is set-up to look at the long-term stability of crop research in Western Canada.
Check-off dollars are invested into wheat and barley breeding research through long term agreements with public institutions. Breeding agreements target increasing yield, improving disease and insect resistance, developing special adaptational characteristics and improving overall quality.