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Chairman’s View

Brad Barth speaking at the 2024 MCIA Annual Meeting. Photo by Alan Makinen. © Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

By Brad Barth, Board Chairman

Hello everyone, it is close to the end of the winter here in Minnesota and I am just wondering, has anyone seen winter? It seems to have missed us. Usually, we are all either ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, or shoveling and cursing. Not so much in the winter of 23/24. No matter what type of winter you’ve had, I am sure we all are looking forward to spring.

On January 24, 2024, MCIA held its 121st Annual Meeting in St Cloud. It was an excellent gathering with great sponsors, outstanding speakers, and wonderful times networking with our fellow seed professionals. I would like to recognize Fawad and the great staff at MCIA and thank them for organizing such an excellent event. A special thanks to all the sponsors and the members who attended.

On behalf of the Boad of Directors I am pleased to report that MCIA is in good financial standing and looks poised to stay strong for the near and distant future. As with all companies there are times when it appears that the year may not meet expectations. Revenues could be down and expenses soaring, but the company and employees dig deep and right the ship as it sails into a prosperous end to the year. Well, MCIA has had those times too, but the hard work of the excellent staff and the loyalty of the members seems to always bring this organization out on top with a little profit to spare.

MCIA has been blessed to acquire some excellent staff members in the past year or two and is currently fully staffed. Few organizations can make that claim. That being said, the organic department is growing every year and will soon need to add staff.

I am sure you have all heard that Roger Wippler has retired. I was very happy to see him there for another yearly meeting, allowing us all a chance to visit with him one last time. I heard from the staff that it has taken quite some time to clean out Roger’s office as there were 34-plus years of memories in there. Truly, Roger, I tip my hat to you and your excellent career here at MCIA. You will forever be in our hearts and thoughts.

Roger has left us with an excellently trained, hardworking, and resourceful young man by the name of Carl Anfinson. I have had many conversations with Carl and can tell you that he will do an excellent job for MCIA. If you have any questions about foundation seed in the future, well, Carl is your man.

2024 is almost a quarter gone and I am still writing 2023 on my checks. As surely as time flies, MCIA we will always have personnel transitions, such as retirements, relocations, and family changes, but we always find new employees to keep the organization running smoothly. I want to welcome all the staff members who joined MCIA over the past year. I hope they can make MCIA their career. You’ll only need to work here 35 years to beat Mr. Wippler!

I hope that you all have a safe and prosperous 2024.