Meet a Producer – Rauri Qually
Have you ever thought about joining the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) but didn’t know much about the role, or how you could start the process?
Directors are the most essential part of how grower organizations like the MWBGA operate. The MWBGA board is made up of seven member-elected producers, with the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair being elected by the board annually after the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This fall 2019, nominations will begin to start the process of electing four members to serve on the MWBGA board. Of course, serving on a board for any organization requires a time commitment. However, along with this time commitment, there are also numerous benefits that producers will take away from their time spent serving on the MWBGA board.
Meet MWBGA Director, Rauri Qually, who knows first-hand about these benefits. Rauri, along with his father, Gerald and wife, Pam, run a small, family-owned grain farming operation in Dacotah, Manitoba. Their operation truly is a family one with everyone including his mother and brother, who works off the farm, taking time to help during the busy harvest season. Rauri’s farm grows a variety of crops which primarily include wheat, oats, canola and soybeans. This year, barley will be added to the farm’s rotation for the first time. Rauri is a fresh face on the MWBGA board and although he lacks experience serving on a board, he feels that this lack of experience is also advantageous in some ways and can bring new, innovative ideas to the table.
“Because this is the first grower organization board that I have served on, I think my inexperience brings a set of fresh eyes to old problems,” Rauri explains, “and sometimes, having an open mind can be helpful for overcoming new challenges.” The MWBGA knows it is important to have a diverse group of producers sitting at the table at board meetings. Having some diversity and contrast between board-experienced producers and producers who have never served on a board is one example of this. It is emphasized that producers know their experience and knowledge will be welcomed on the board.
During their time spent on the MWBGA board, each of the seven directors are appointed to one or more of the board’s several internal committees. There are also director appointments to external organizations including Cereals Canada, Canadian Wheat Research Coalition, Western Grains Research Foundation and the Canadian International Grains Institute. Since Rauri was elected as a Director with the MWBGA at the 2018 AGM, he has spent time serving on the board’s valuable research committee. The research committee is focused on building research relationships and committed to funding, managing and monitoring research projects that will advance the sustainability and profitability of Manitoba spring wheat and barley growers.
“Being on the research committee is one of my favourite parts about serving on the MWBGA board. It’s so interesting to take part in making funding decisions on upcoming, cutting-edge research projects that have the potential to benefit Manitoba farms,” says Rauri, “learning about some of these projects make me optimistic for the future of the agriculture industry in Canada.” In addition to making important decisions on behalf of wheat and barley growers in Manitoba, directors are also subjected to numerous, invaluable learning and networking opportunities.
“Throughout my time on the MWBGA board, I’ve learned a lot about board governance and the intricacies of variety development which, as a farmer, I have grown to appreciate and admire more than I ever had before,” Rauri says, also mentioning that a key thing he has learned is “how essential research dollars are for the future of wheat and barley production in Canada.” Joining a board is also a great opportunity for producers to network with industry professionals, researchers and other producers from all over the country who work together to make a difference for Canadian agriculture.
“Along with the numerous education and networking opportunities I’ve had while being on the MWBGA board, I’ve also gotten the chance to work with many knowledgeable, hard-working men and women that are a part of the organization,” Rauri says, “I’m proud to be a director with the MWBGA because it’s allowed me to be a part of an organization that is making positive changes for farmers. It’s rewarding to know that I’m a part of that.”
To access more information on the roles and responsibilities of Directors with the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, and to learn more about the nomination and election process please visit: https://mbwheatandbarley.ca/governance/nominations-elections/