Soy Canada elects new Chair and recognizes industry contributions

Posted on: June 24, 2021

Ottawa – A new Soy Canada chairperson has been elected following the organization’s seventh annual general meeting (AGM) with participation from across Canada. In addition to normal business, key individuals who’ve made significant contributions to the soybean sector and Canadian agriculture were also recognized. Jason McNaughton was elected as chair of the board.

“I congratulate Jason on being elected as chair our board, I know he will do a great job,” says Ernie Sirski, the outgoing chairperson.

The AGM also provided an opportunity to recognize the impacts of three individuals who each had long careers in agriculture. Soy Canada recognized Ron Davidson, former Executive Director of Soy Canada, who retired this past May after a 50-year long career in Canadian agriculture.

“It’s a great accomplishment that doesn’t happen very often,” says Sirski. “We thank Ron for his contributions to Soy Canada and to Canadian agriculture.”

The ‘In Service of Soy’ awards were also presented to Laura Anderson, formerly of the Canadian Grain Commission and Lorna Woodrow, of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Harrow Research Station, both of whom have contributed to the resiliency and expansion of the Canadian soybean export market.

“We are honoured to recognize Laura, Lorna and Ron for their hard work and dedication, and we’re happy they could attend our AGM to say a few words,” said Jason McNaughton. “Thank you to to Ernie for being our Chair for the past three years – it hasn’t been an easy three years and we are grateful for your leadership.”

The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recorded a few words for Soy Canada, recognizing the continued strength of the sector and recognizing Ron’s long and impressive career in agriculture and public service. You can see the video here.

Soy Canada members also welcomed a new board member, and confirmed the renewal of three board members for three-year terms:

  • Winston Van Staveren, nominated by Saskatchewan Pulse Growers;
  • Crosby Devitt, nomination renewed by Grain Farmers of Ontario;
  • Melvin Rattai, nomination renewed by Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers; and,
  • Jeff Loessin, nomination from Corteva AgriScience nominated by seed companies.

“On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank outgoing board member Trent Richards from Saskatchewan Pulse Growers for his contributions, and welcome Winston as we all work together on advancing the soybean sector in Canada,” said Ernie. “Soy Canada has an excellent group around the table representing the various segments of the value chain, and we look forward to this continuing.”

Soy Canada presented their Annual Report at the AGM, detailing the highlights of the 2020-2021 year for soybeans, and outlined how staff worked towards the goals set out in the organization’s strategic plan. You can read the full report here.

Soy Canada is the national value chain organization that represents soybean seed developers, farmers, processors, exporters and affiliated organizations. Produced from Nova Scotia to Alberta, and providing farm cash receipts of $2.5 – $3.0 billion annually, soybeans are Canada’s third most valuable field crop.

For additional information, contact:

Brian Innes

Executive Director, Soy Canada