Manitoba senator to lead grains institute

Senator JoAnne Buth, shown here speaking to the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association in Ottawa in April, will become CEO of Cigi in September. (

Canada’s lead market development institute for Canadian grains, oilseeds and pulses has reached into Parliament’s upper chamber to pick its new chief executive.

Cigi, the Canadian International Grains Institute, on Tuesday announced Senator JoAnne Buth will be its new CEO, replacing Earl Geddes on his retirement effective Sept. 8.

Buth, president of the Canola Council of Canada from 2007 to 2012, was named by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January 2012 to replace the retiring Sharon Carstairs as one of Manitoba’s six senators. [Related story]

Buth, today a member of the Senate’s agriculture and forestry committee and national finance committee, confirmed Tuesday she’ll resign from the Senate effective Aug. 10.

In Cigi’s release, she said her new post “represents coming home to me as I come back to work in an industry that is so critical to Canada and to Canada’s reputation internationally.”

Winnipeg-based Cigi, whose funding sources include grower and industry groups and the federal government, is tasked with supplying technical expertise, support and customized training to Canada’s domestic and export agrifood customers, and with identifying and researching new applications for Canadian field crops.

Over 39,000 industry representatives from 115 countries have taken part in Cigi programs and seminars since the institute was set up in 1972.

Cigi chairman Murdoch MacKay said in the same release that Buth brings the “right combination of industry experience and vision” to lead Cigi in its evolution.

“JoAnne’s extensive expertise and perspective will ensure that Cigi remains an internationally respected institute that works on behalf of farmers and industry in the promotion of Canada’s field crops,” he said.

Cigi, Buth said, is “a gem in the agriculture industry and I am very excited to be leading an organization that is in a growth phase.”

Buth, who was vice-president for crop production at the Canola Council from 1999 to 2007, had previously worked at Carman, Man. as a manager and weed management specialist with the provincial agriculture department and earlier held posts with the federal ag department and DowElanco Canada.

At the Canola Council, Buth had spearheaded the Growing Great 2015 initiative, aimed at boosting Canadian canola production to 15 million tonnes by 2015, up from nine million in 2007, raising the crop’s energy and oil content and boosting both exports and domestic crushing. — Network



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