ND Wheat Commission Meets in Mandan


The North Dakota Wheat Commission met July 7 in Mandan to elect officers and finalize the budget for fiscal year 2010-11. Harlan Klein, Elgin, was re-elected chairman. Fran Leiphon, Crary, was re-elected vice chairman. 

Commissioners serving on the N.D. Wheat Commission board are as follows:

  • District 1: Harlan Klein, Elgin – Chair
  • District 4: Fran Leiphon, Crary – Vice-Chair
  • At-Large Member: Bruce Freitag, Scranton
  • District 2: Louis Kuster, Stanley
  • District 3: David Clough, Fessenden
  • District 5: Greg Svenningsen, Valley City
  • District 6: Brian O’Toole, Crystal

The North Dakota Wheat Commission made expanded funding for research a priority in the July 2010 – June 2011 budget, approving more than $1.7 million for wheat research projects and equipment.  The Commission’s overall budget totals $4.9 million with export marketing, domestic policy, trade policy and domestic promotion other main program areas.  The additional producer investment in wheat research represents an increase of nearly $1 million from the previous year, moving it to the top funding area for wheat check-off funds in the current budget.  Wheat Commission Chairman Harlan Klein says, “Research has taken on greater importance with our producers in recent years and the Commission felt the timing was right to make a significant re-investment in this area, while maintaining full support for our other key program areas.  The Commission’s stronger emphasis on research is possible at this time due to favorable production in recent years and strong demand for the high performance spring wheat and durum wheat produced in North Dakota.”  Wheat remains the states’ top crop in acres planted, bushels produced and economic value to producers and the state, contributing more than $2 billion in value to producers and nearly $7 billion to the states’ economy. 

Klein adds, “This is an investment in the future to help ensure wheat remains a competitive and profitable crop for our producers.  It will update and upgrade facilities and equipment and enhance operating funds to accelerate the efforts of our scientists to develop improved disease and pest resistance in our varieties, increase yield potential and improve on the premium end-use quality our varieties are already known for.”  Major areas receiving funding include $633,300 for end-use quality testing; $571,064 for wheat breeding, disease and pest management issues; and $500,000 for the new NDSU Greenhouse facility.

In addition to officer positions on the Commission, representatives to serve seats on other organizations were also selected.  Klein and Leiphon were elected to represent North Dakota producers on the U.S. Wheat Associates board of directors.  Klein and O’Toole were elected to represent the commission on the Wheat Granting Committee of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Extension.

David Clough was appointed to serve on the board of directors of the Northern Crops Council where he also serves as Chairman.  O’Toole will serve on the board of the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Ore., which focuses on Asian marketing opportunities.

Commissioners appointed to serve as liaisons to other organizations are as follows:

  • N.D. Grain Growers Association – Bruce Freitag
  • U.S. Durum Growers Association – Louis Kuster
  • N.D. Crop and Seed Improvement Association — Brian O’Toole
  • N.D. Ag Foundation – Fran Leiphon
  • N.D. Ag Coalition – Bruce Freitag
  • Wheat Foods Council – Fran Leiphon
  • National Pasta Association – Louis Kuster

The NDWC’s work is funded entirely by North Dakota wheat producers with a checkoff of a penny and a half per bushel of wheat sold. The budget covers programs in export marketing, trade issues, research, product promotion, domestic policy, and public information.


Source: North Dakota Wheat Commission

Posted by Kaci Switzer

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