The Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) was founded in 1970 by 35 corn growers in the Carman- Morden-Roland area. While the Association currently represents over 1500 producers, early membership peaked at about 580 growers at the end of the 1970’s. Membership includes individual and corporate growers as well as industry and research representatives.
One of the main objectives of the MCGA is to provide the latest agronomic information about growing corn to its members, thus promoting corn as a viable alternative for Manitoba producers. In the early days, this was successfully delivered through Newsletters and the Annual Corn School, which brought in speakers that could provide the latest information and technology updates every year. With membership growth in the 1970’s, the MCGA was able to build up enough funds to assist the Morden and Brandon corn research programs to help compensate for federal cuts to research budgets. This began a long tradition of promoting research into all aspects of corn production in Manitoba. In 1978, one of the MCGA’s first major research initiatives with the provincial and federal governments was to establish the Agro-Man program to study the viability of grain corn and silage throughout the province. After completion of the project, it was judged to be the most successful of the Agro-Man projects in Manitoba.
In 1981 the MCGA was incorporated, making it possible to administer the federally guaranteed Cash Advance program. This program continues to offer interest-free loans for storage of grain, which allows farmers to sell their crop throughout the year when prices are in their favor. In the 1990’s, the MCGA joined the PFRA to develop a research program demonstrating the potential benefit of tile drainage for crop production in Manitoba.
On August 12, 1998, the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Inc., was designated under The Agricultural Producers’ Organization Funding Act as the representative organization for all producers of corn in Manitoba. More information on the regulation is available here.
For many years, the MCGA ran field scale variety trials to provide data on approved and developing corn varieties. The Manitoba Corn Committee (MCC) continues to provide the MCGA membership with results from developing and commercially available hybrid trials in various locations across the province.
In 2012, the MCGA hired a Production Agronomist to manage and carry out field-scale research and demonstration projects and to promote the expansion of the corn industry in Manitoba through communicating agronomic advances in corn production practices to producers, industry agronomist and representatives.
In 2016, the MCGA welcomed Lori-Ann Kaminski as Research Manager to manage all aspects of research grants, including developing relationships, discovering future project possibilities and securing contracts in order to achieve the goals of the MCGA. Lori-Ann is also responsible for efficiently reporting progress and advancements relating to corn production in Manitoba to the Board, membership and industry. Lori-Ann Kaminiski is also the Research Manager for the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association and is an example of MCGA collaborating with other commodity groups.
In February 2017, the MCGA hired Pam de Rocquigny as the new General Manager to replace Theresa Bergsma who retired. Theresa was with the MCGA for 29 years and was instrumental in the building of the association and its success over the years. Pam’s position is shared with the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association.