Elections for SaskCanola’s Board of Directors are held every two years in the fall (2020, 2022, 2024). Farmers who have paid canola levy within the two years prior to an election and not requested a refund are eligible to run in the election. Interested parties can either download a copy of the nomination package or call the SaskCanola office to request one and complete the requirements before the deadline. Requirements include the submission of a biography and the signatures of five registered canola producers. Directors are elected for a four year term and are eligible to run for a second term, for a total of eight years.
Voting for SaskCanola’s board election is now open, click here to view Nov 2, 2020 news release.
Eight nominations were received to fill four director positions – contact information, biographies, and radio interviews for each candidate are available below.
Registered producers will receive a letter in the mail with online voting instructions and a six digit ID number to use to cast their vote at canolavote.com. Alternatively, the option to vote by paper ballot is available upon request (the letter includes details and contact info for this option as well). The voting period will close November 30, 2020 at 12:00pm (Noon) CST.
David Altrogge, St. Benedict SK
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Biography: I have been a farmer since 1992. In that time I have learned one thing and that is promotion of your product is important – maybe the most important. I am endeavoring to be a director of SaskCanola for this reason. We, as producers, are great at production and it is what comes naturally to us. It’s in our DNA. But it’s the promotion of our product – the healthy oil – that creates value for us that helps make our loan payments, helps us buy new machinery, sends our kids to post secondary. SaskCanola has been a stalwart performer in this endeavor and I hope to be a part of this pivotal organization and participate in the continued tradition of promoting canola for Sasktachewan farmers.
Here are the issues that are important to me:
- Renewed marketing efforts needed to support consumers’ decision to choose canola oil over olive oil or corn oil. Develop innovative marketing programs to grow our market share of canola in the edible oils category. Tapping into the “canola stories” that create a unique brand.
- Penetration into new emerging markets in East Asia Countries (such as South Korea) where sales and awareness have been minimal. Reassessing our relationship with China.
- Increasing our marketing efforts in digital and social media marketing to influence consumers in this renewed post-covid digital world (the new reality).
- Exploration of novel uses for canola oil beyond biodiesel (there are many!). Collaboration with other innovative companies to entertain engaging canola oil in their products (food or material).
- Unflagging support of the GMO canola and its safety, its science against fringe misguided groups that mislead consumers. Proactive (not reactive) campaigns to inoculate consumers of the safety of GMO canola.
- Supporting mental health of farmers in Saskatchewan by funding programs and speakers that give farmers the tools and awareness to deal with stress or stress of a neighbor (an overlooked component that will help us all to become better, healthier farmers).
My previous positions are as follows: I was a founding board member and marketing director of Norelkco Nutraceuticals (owned by farmers). We developed and sold alternative natural pet supplements for dogs for treatment of a variety of health conditions in Canada. In 2008 I worked for SaskCanola in communications. I have worked with a variety of small business in Saskatoon in designing and engaging marketing campaigns. I have a BComm in marketing from the U of S. I am a fan of the slow burn – long time heat marketing campaigns. I will pass on Red Bull.
In 2012 I moved back to the farm where I returned to farming full time. We grow various grains on 1,700 acres. We own Prairie Moon Farm Foods which is a marketing arm for the natural beef, eggs and pork raised on our farm that is direct marketed to consumers in Saskatoon and area. I have participated on several boards: local school board, Boy Scouts of Saskatoon, Church Committee, SWP Committee and am a long term member and supporter of SSCA and their innovations. I served as a director for 5 years at a farmer owned feed mill in Bruno, Sk.
Greg Brkich, Bladworth SK
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Biography: I have a farm a couple of miles northwest of Bladworth. I have been farming for 40 years.
I have belonged to the Bladworth Elks Club since 1980, and am proudly still a member of that organization.
I served on the Bladworth Town Council for six years, from 1994 to 1999. At that time, I was elected as MLA for the constituency of Arm River for the SaskParty. I have represented the people of Arm River for 21 years as their MLA. I spent one term as Deputy Speaker, one term as Government House Leader. I was also appointed by Brad Wall as Legislative Secretary to Minister of Agriculture, Agriculture Programs Innovation Initiative. I also served as Chair of Crown and Central Agencies and Intergovernmental Affairs.
If elected as a Director of SaskCanola, I will try and represent members much the same as I previously served the people of Bladworth and Arm River.
*Note: Greg resigned as MLA in September of 2020.
Jonathan Fehr, Herschel SK
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Biography: I, Jonathan (Jon) Fehr, am seeking election to a board position with SaskCanola bringing with me both industry and primary production experience. Along with my wife and children, we operate our grain farm operation located near Herschel, SK, where we commercially produce canola, pulses, cereal grains, and hay.
Since completing post-secondary eduction, I’ve balanced farming alongside a career in the grain industry of which 16 years was spent working for a producer directed inland grain terminal. Marketing, merchandising, and management were my primary roles within industry and as such have acquired knowledge and skillset around each, all of which can be carried forward into a position with SaskCanola. I have since left the grain industry and now focus my sole attention on our family farm. The years I had spent developing a skillset in the grain trade and the networks that were created would bring a unique perspective to the table.
I bring with me board experience having served on local and provincial sporting and not-for-profit boards. If elected to the board of SaskCanola I look forward to giving back to the agriculture community by working in the interest of producers and their levy dollars, eyeing opportunities to help create a sustainable future for canol and an organization that can work on their behalf.
Keith Fournier, Lone Rock SK
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Biography: I am pleased to put forward my name again to represent Saskatchewan canola farmers as a director with SaskCanola. I farm in NW Saskatchewan near Lone Rock with my partner Elaine, my daughter Joelle and her husband Shelby, as well as my sister and brother-in-law. We grow canola, wheat and peas.
The past 4 years as a director with SaskCanola has been a learning experience. In that time I have served as chair of the Policy and Finance Committees and am currently the chair of the Research Committee. I sit on and chair the Western Canadian Canola Recommending Committee and the Canola Performance Trials Committee. I have opened up our farm twice to host Canola Crop Walks where we bring in speakers and have demonstrations to improve the knowledge of growing canola to Saskatchewan farmers.
In the past I have been a 4-H leader for 9 years, president of the HiRollers Marketing Club and have volunteered in many community and regional events. I currently sit on the Lloydminster Exhibition Board Agri-Visions Show committee and am vice-chair of Ag in the Classroom Saskatchewan.
I have had a passion for research and improved growing techniques which started from my U of S days where I received a Diploma in Agriculture. But research is only as good as the extension in getting that information to farmers. As grower levy commission representatives we have to give this high priority.
As farmers we are always facing threats and challenges to our businesses. I see one of the biggest challenges as correcting the misinformation about the food we grow. We have to advocate to consumers that our food is safe and nutritious and that farmers do care about the environment. Each of us has a responsibility to do that and we need to keep working with partners like Farm & Food Care and Ag int he Classroom to help carry that message. The ability to continue using the tools we have depends on how well we tell our story.
If you have questions or concerns, I am always open to discussing those. I look forward to your support in this upcoming election.
Evan Michel, St. Gregor SK
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Biography: My name is Evan Michel. For the past 7 years farming has been my primary occupation on our 4th generation family farm south of St. Gregor. Having grown up on the farm I helped whenever I could for as long as I can remember. Following high school I became a journeyman heavy duty mechanic and when there was an opportunity to expand the farm I started farming with my father. Each year we plant canola, wheat, barley, green peas and typically experiment with one other crop. With clubroot becoming more of a concern every year I’m very interested in soil and plant health and hope to be part of the reason we can grow canola for many years to come. When I’m not busy on the farm I play hockey in the winter and golf in the summer with my wife. The future in farming holds a lot of change and as a young farmer I’m excited to grow with that change.
Codie Nagy, Ogema SK
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Biography: My name is Codie Nagy. I am a first generation farmer from Ogema, SK. I have been passionate about agriculture from a very young age. I was given the opportunity to fulfill my desire to be farmer myself; so today, my family farms in a partnership with another family. Together we farm 6500ac of durum, lentils, chickpeas and canola. Canola accounts for roughly a third of our acres on any given year. I have been farming full time since graduating with an Agronomy Diploma in 2011 from the University of Saskatchewan.
Canola has been a staple in our operation. It has effectively given us a reliable option within our crop rotation. It has allowed us to have better weed management in an environmentally healthy way. It also allows us to manage disease pressure in other crops by lengthening our rotation. With everything going on in our current political atmosphere, we are being pressured to alter our way of production not due to science but due to lack of understanding. I believe the agriculture industry has done a good job of promoting our industry but I also believe there are areas of improvement that could be an asset in building upon the current foundation for future generations.
I am a junkie for knowledge. If you were to drive by any of our fields, you may find multiple flags marking different trials. I have developed a “you never know unless you try” mentality and that is evident by the amount of ideas I put to test on any given year. I would bring that same approach to SaskCanola.
Being married with two young children, spare time doesn’t come often so I commit my time to organizations that really matter. I currently fill my time with multiple board involvement: Ogema Rink Board (Chair), Ogema School Community Council (Vice-Chair), Ogema Rec and Culture Association, Ogema Housing Corp and Authority. I also serve as the local emergency measures organizer on the volunteer fire department. I previously served on Ogema Town Council for three years.
I have always been focused on helping community efforts and now would like to turn my attention to making a positive impact on the agriculture industry, specifically by having the opportunity to serve on the board of the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission. I have a range of experience in different board settings and an affinity for knowledge that would help me serve fellow farmers being part of the SaskCanola board. I hope I can count on your support!
Luke Perkins, Star City SK
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Biography: Luke Perkins, born and raised in Star City, Saskatchewan. Grew up on a mixed farm of beef, dairy and grain. Graduated from Star City high school in 1989 and swore never to be a farmer. Attended Lakeland College in Vermilion AB and graduated with a fish and wildlife diploma and worked as a conservation officer until 1995. Married Stephanie in 1994 and purchased parents dairy farm in 1995. Been farming ever since. Have served on many boards including Saskatchewan Elk Breeder Association (president from 2000-2003) and the North East School Division (2012-present including as Board Chair since 2016).
Stephanie and I have 3 kids: Sadie, Dallan and Ethan. We are both active in our community and volunteer anytime its needed.
As far as skills and knowledge I will bring to the board, all I can truthfully tell you is that I always say what is on my mind. I speak as common sense as I can and I believe that it is never wrong to do the right thing. I love being a farmer and think I drive Stephanie a little on the crazy side by talking about farming a tad too much.
I would very much appreciate the opportunity to be a board member and contribute in anyway that is needed.
Dean Roberts, Coleville SK
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Biography: My name is Dean Roberts and together with my wife and two kids, we operate our family farm near Coleville, Sk. Our two kids love spending time on the farm and enjoy the freedom and unique experiences that come from growing up on a farm. In the future, I hope they appreciate how fortunate they have been growing up on a farm.
After high school, I attended the University of Saskatchewan where I received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. All through school I loved farming and knew that it was the career for me. While at the U of S, I was fortunate to be able to purchase some land and start farming. My first crop was in 2004 and half of it stayed out over winter, a challenging start.
We currently grow wheat, barley, flax, lentils, peas and canola as our main crops. I always enjoy a challenge and have tried fall rye, winter wheat, sunflowers, corn, and soybeans in the past. I think it is important to challenge the status quo from time to time to continue improving our processes. One of my favourite activities over the summer is attending field days to see what is developing in the world of agronomy and what I can change on our farm to do better.
I believe Canada produces some of the best commodities in the world and we should be exporting them all over the world. I believe the federal government has a few tasks to accomplish in this regard. We need our government to engage our trade partners about their concerns to ensure we have consistent access to foreign markets. We also need a more transparent grain grading system. Our current system leaves much room for interpretation and error. My personal experiences with durum, malt barley, and heated/green canola are a testament to this. A grower should not receive grades from a #1 CWAD to a #5 CWAD on the same sample of grain.
I have board experience which I think will be an asset to SaskCanola. I have served on the baord of directors for Synergy Credit Union for 6 years and have chaired both the Human Resources and Audit Committees. This exposure has given me experience around regulatory compliance, governance, and strategic planning among many others.
Additionally, I am currently a councillor for the R.M. of Oakdale. While I have only been in this position for a couple years, I have learned a lot in that short time. I appreciate the need for stakeholder engagement on issues to truly understand where people are coming from and what their concerns are. Our area has had a lot of oil and gas development and it creates many challenges and opportunities for our region. Finding balance for all parties involved can be a challenge at times.
I believe producer groups have a strong role in advocating for Saskatchewan farmers to make sure our voice is heard. I have never been one to hold back my opinion and if elected would continue to do the same for Saskatchewan canola growers.