Federal ag programs chief to head Canola Council

Canada’s canola industry body has gone to the federal civil service to replace the president it lost to Parliament Hill.

Patti Miller, acting director general with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s farm income programs directorate in Winnipeg, was announced Tuesday as the Canola Council of Canada’s new president effective April 30.

As the council’s chief, Miller replaces JoAnne Buth, who Prime Minister Stephen Harper named to the Senate in January as one of Manitoba’s representatives to the upper chamber.

Miller, who has a master’s degree in ag economics from the University of Saskatchewan, was executive director for grains and oilseeds with AAFC’s market and industry services branch, before moving to the programs directorate in 2008.

"During her career with AAFC (Miller) was responsible for working with Canadian grains and oilseeds producers and industry on policy, trade, market development and research issues in order to facilitate sustainable, profitable market growth in the sector," the council said in its release Tuesday.

Miller worked as the communications manager for the Canadian arm of U.S. agrifood giant Cargill, also in Winnipeg, providing "leadership and advice to senior managers on all aspects of corporate and employee communications," before joining AAFC.

"Our board has every confidence that she has the expertise to lead our industry toward our 2015 strategic goals and beyond," council chair Pat Van Osch said in Tuesday’s release.

"The canola industry is close to achieving its goal of 15 million tonnes of sustainable production and demand by 2015, and I am looking forward to leading the organization toward this goal and to providing leadership in planning our strategy beyond 2015," Miller said Tuesday.

Cory McArthur, the canola agency’s vice-president for market development, has so far filled in for Buth as the council’s lead point of contact and handled interim duties for finance, research and "external board representation."

Related story:
Harper names Canola Council chief to Senate, Jan. 6, 2012

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