The Board Of Directors Of Sask Wheat has announced that Blair Goldade has been appointed as its new Executive Director.
Goldade has been with Sask Wheat since 2014 and reflects on the new role.
"It's very exciting for me and I guess it's kind of a natural extension of my career development over the years. I've worked at Sask Wheat since 2014 and previously with the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan prior to that so I have been actively involved in the farming community and organizations that have an impact on farmers and the work that they do."
While he is currently in a transition period before taking over the role on October 15th, Goldade says this is helpful as it will allow him to become more familiar with aspects such as policy and advocacy. Since joining Sask Wheat, Goldade has served as the research program manager so when it comes to the research portfolio he has a strong understanding.
Prior to joining Sask Wheat, Goldade worked with the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan he was involved with administering federal agriculture Canada programming through adaptation programming which provided funding to allow organizations to do things like business plans, market assessments and look into other areas of interest that they might want to invest in from production development to value-added initiatives. In his last two years with AGS, Goldade served as Executive Director.
Goldade says an issue on the mind of many producers will be one of initial focus in the new role.
"Sask Wheat has a number of different issues on the slate that we are currently working with. As you know the impact of the severe drought and heat during this growing season is definitely on the top of the minds of our producers. We recently collaborated with other crop commissions to call for administration fees and penalties and contracts and for those to be renegotiated due to the extreme conditions and to extend the enrollment deadline for Agristability."
In addition, Goldade adds that while they know most yields are going to be poor across the province there is hope that the quality will be ok and there will still be some marketing opportunities for producers. He says that environmental stressors is something that they have been focused on for a number of years at Sask Wheat on the research side.
Reflecting on his current role as Research Program Manager, Goldade says the research portfolio from when Sask Wheat began in 2014 to now being a fully operational mature research funding portfolio in excess of $52 million in funding, which facilitates more than $200 million in strategic research projects facilitated through coordinated research and funding collaboration shows the growth and magnitude of that.
The Canadian Wheat Research Collaition funding partners are Sask Wheat, Alberta Wheat, and Manitoba Crop Alliance with whom they have assumed joint funding of core wheat reading agreements for agriculture and Agrifood Canada along with three universities, the University of Alberta, the University of Saskatchewan at CDC and the University of Manitoba. The Investment of approximately $34.6 million is a major accomplishment for the Western Canadian Wheat Commission and Sask Wheat as a funding partner in the organization.
Goldade says they are currently in development for the next wheat cluster application to the agriscience cluster program. They have released a letter of intent calling out to all researchers across Canada which is due at the end of September. Goldade adds that it will take about a year and a half to get that LOI through to full proposal and the entire application package put together to submit to the agriscience program.
With investments, Goldade says they look at what's going to get the best bang for producers' dollars and the greatest impact to improve their net profit on their farm.