Allow memberships of the five Manitoba commodity organizations to vote on the proposed amalgamation to create a new not-for-profit organization that will develop a future working relationship that is efficient, effective and advantageous for farmer members.
- Reinforce and strengthen focus on research, agronomy, communication and market development.
- Create more opportunities for grassroots farmer involvement through a new governance structure.
- Lean and efficient operational management to ensure maximum investment of producer dollars in research, agronomy and market development.
CONSULTATION PERIOD – Please review the proposal and tell us what you think:
- Contact the Board or staff of any of the five organizations.
- Attend the Annual General Meeting of your organization on February 13 and 14, 2019 as part of the CropConnect Conference.
- Email your comments directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposal: Five Manitoba commodity organizations are proposing to amalgamate into a new not-for-profit organization that is efficient, effective and advantageous for farmer members.
Mandate: The organization will maintain and strengthen the mandate of the existing organizations:
- Research and Agronomy – Improved, independent, farmer driven research and agronomy support.
- Market Development – Work with key industry stakeholders to develop new markets and support existing markets.
Communications: Build a strong connection to research and agronomy programs to deliver those results to membership for increased profitability and quality.
Board Governance: The organization will be governed by a farmer Board of 11 elected Directors who will represent Manitoba farmers growing crops included in the mandate of the new organization.
Crop Committee Structure: The new organization will have 4 crop committees composed of 34 delegates who will be elected by farmer members.
Grassroots Farmer Involvement: The new crop committee structure will make it easier for farmers to be involved and will ensure improved, coordinated feedback with farmer members.
Lean and Efficient Operation: The new organization will continue to be a lean and efficient with low general administration expenses (16% of revenue). By reducing overlap, we can strengthen the quality of research and services offered to membership by highly skilled specialists.
1. Maximize and focus on research, agronomy and market development
- Crop-specific issues will be addressed through the crop committee structure.
- New structure allows for a multi-crop or systems approach.
2. Increase opportunities for grassroots farmer involvement
- Improved grassroots farmer involvement through the crop committee structure.
- Mechanism to attract new and young farmers to the organization as delegates on crop committees and enhance grassroots involvement.
3. Continue to be a lean and efficient operation
- Simplified operations by legally amalgamating, including 1 audit, 1 bank account, 1 AGM, and 1 payroll.
- Increased efficiency will enable more time spent on research, market development, communication initiatives and serving our farmer members.
- A team of specialized staff focused on the best investment and returns into research and market development.
Field Crops Represented
Percent of Manitoba Crop Acres Represented
Percent of Overlap in Membership from Farmers Growing More Than One Crop
4. Developing a whole-farm approach
Better able to tackle challenges that are not crop specific:
- Soil health, organic matter, compaction
- Crop rotations and new crop options
- Resistant weeds and insects
A stronger voice for Manitoba farmer members representing 40% of the field crops produced by 8000+ farmers.
More unified and coordinated communications to grower members due to reduced overlap.
BOARD & CROP COMMITTEE STRUCTURE
To address feedback from members during the 2018 consultations, the governance structure will include crop committees.
*Committees will range in size from 6 – 8 delegates for corn, flax and sunflowers. The wheat and barley committee will have 6 – 10 delegates.
There will be 4 Crop Committees reflecting the current organizations with winter wheat included in the Wheat and Barley Committee.
- Committee size will range from 6 to 10 elected farmer Delegates per committee.
- Crop Committee Delegates 4 x (8-10) = 34 total
Delegates at the Crop Committee level will be elected from the membership at large and who have a strong interest in a specific crop type.
Delegates will be elected for a 4 year term and can serve a maximum of 2 terms (8 consecutive years in total).
The Crop Committee structure will allow for:
- Opportunity to develop young directors for a future on the Board of Directors.
- Enable farmers to be involved at a time commitment level Delegates can commit to.
- Involve research and agronomy staff in the committee work.
The individual Crop Committee will appoint delegates to sit on the Board of Directors, with a range from 2 to 4 depending on committee.
This will allow for direct linkage from the Crop Committees to the Board of Directors.
The Board and Crop Committee structure has been developed to be scalable, if there is future interest from other research focused field crops.
- Focus on crop specific issues including research and market development.
- Gather and provide grassroots feedback and member needs to the Board.
- Develop crop specific research recommendations for Board approval.
- Review all crop specific projects and monitor research results.
- Delegates can be representatives on national or sister organizations, if requested by the Board.
- Seek nominations for new delegates to join the crop committee during election years.
- Crop Committees will have a dedicated staff person to provide support.
- Time Commitment: 2 or 3 Crop Committee meetings per year. The number of meetings can vary by committee.
- Meetings may be in-person or through other online methods.
- Governance of total organization, all crops, all members.
- Governance, fiduciary duty, budget approval and set strategic priorities.
- Accountable to all the members.
- Appointed by the Crop Committees.
- Decisions include annual budget, hiring Chief Executive Officer, bylaws, approved contracts and research investments.
- Decisions on any multi-crop topics.
- Time Commitment: 4 to 5 Board meetings per year, plus some additional time for internal committees and/or external organizations.
- Meetings will mostly be in-person, but some may be held through other online methods.
- The initial Crop Committee Delegates will be made up of the current Directors from the five organizations.
- These Delegates will have staggered terms of either 1 or 3 years to allow for transition and mentorship.
- An Interim Board made up of 11 current Directors from the five organizations will be appointed to launch the new organization. Each of the current organizations will appoint Interim Directors as follows:
*The Wheat and Barley interim Board members will include at least one from the current Winter Cereals Manitoba board.
ELECTION PROCESS EVERY TWO YEARS
The election and appointment process will take place every two years using the following five step process:
APPOINTING THE INITIAL BOARD AND COMMITTEES
*Note: Timing is assuming that the organization is approved in 2020.
STAFF TEAM / ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
- All current staff (8) would be employed by the new organization.
- There is no change in staffing level planned, with the recognition there will be a transitional process over first few years.
- Crop Committees will have a dedicated staff person(s) to provide support.
COMBINED BUDGET SUMMARY
The new organization will continue to be lean and efficient.
Expense Breakdown by Function
The revised timeline for members to vote on this amalgamation is as follows:
- Member Vote 2020 AGM: Members of good standing for each organization will vote in-person on an amalgamation proposal resolution at their respective AGMs on February 12 or 13, 2020.
- If approved by farmer members, the target date for implementation of the new organization will be August 1, 2020.
The legal process will be:
- Incorporate the new not-for-profit organization (NEWCO).
- Each of the five organizations will vote on a resolution to enter into an amalgamation agreement to amalgamate the existing organization into NEWCO.
- The member vote will be in-person at each organization’s AGM, as legally required by MB Corporate law.
- The vote must be at least 2/3 of members in attendance at the AGM in favour of the amalgamation.
- The vote will be held as a secret ballot, not a show of hands.
- The results of each organizations vote will not be released until all the organizations have voted.
- The vote will only be binding if all five organization vote in favour of amalgamation. Organizations who vote to amalgamate will not be bound to their vote if one or more of the organizations do not vote in favour.
- The interim inaugural Board of Directors will submit the petition to the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council requesting NEWCO have the authority to collect levy included in the mandate of NEWCO. The levy will continue to be refundable on request.
- The target, subject to approval by the Manitoba Farm Products Marketing Council and Manitoba Agriculture, is the regulation designating NEWCO as the representative organization of producers of the named crops will be effective on August 1, 2020.
- Still to be confirmed in February 2019, that Manitoba Agriculture will accept a positive membership vote to designate and transfer designation regulations of the mandated crops to NEWCO effective August 1, 2020.
- Levy will be directed to NEWCO starting August 1, 2020.