LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Wheat Program is now accepting nominations for three seats on its nine-member board of directors. The grower seats in Districts 3 (Lenawee and Monroe counties); 6 (Clinton, Shiawassee and Saginaw counties); and 8 (Northern Michigan) are up for appointment or re-appointment this year by Governor Rick Snyder.
The Michigan Wheat Program was developed and voted in by the state’s wheat farmers in 2011, as a commodity check-off organization to advance the interests of wheat growers in the state. The program is authorized by Michigan Public Act 232 of 1965, the Agriculture Commodities Marketing Act which allows farmers who grow and sell commodities such as wheat to assess themselves in order to maintain the economic viability of their crop.
Michigan Wheat Program funds are utilized on behalf of the growers for research, education, communication and market development. All of the past years’ activities of the board may be viewed through the annual reports which are housed on the organization’s website at www.miwheat.org under the about tab.
The 9-member board of directors sets the direction of the organization and makes all of the funding decisions. Three of the 9 board members have appointments up each year. Current board members can be reappointed or new board members appointed. Currently, all three serving board members can seek reappointment to the board. Each board member is able to serve 3, 3-year terms on the board before they are term-limited.
To be eligible for consideration, a farmer that grows wheat must submit a petition with five signatures from wheat growers in his or her district. Farmers interested in one of the three seats should contact Jody Pollok-Newsom, the program’s executive director, to obtain a petition at email@example.com. All signed petitions are due to Pollok-Newsom by the close of business on March 25, 2016. If more than two nominees submit petitions for a district, a meeting of producers in that district will be held to narrow the field to two nominees. The two nominees for each district will then complete additional paperwork for submission to the governor’s office. The governor’s decision is expected by late spring.
The Michigan Wheat Program is funded by nearly 8,000 farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan’s 83 counties. The Michigan Wheat Program board seeks to promote the state’s wheat industry by funding and supporting the strategic priorities of wheat farmers through collaboration with input suppliers, seed producers, millers, end users and consumers. Research on wheat production practices and grower education have been early priorities for the organization.