Chairman’s View

Photo by Dan Hussey Photo from Pixabay.

By Brad Barth, Board Chairman

Happy “almost the end of winter” to you. As I write this, it is mid-February in Minnesota and we have had almost two weeks of above freezing weather. This is a little unusual for this time of year in northern Minnesota, but I will take it. As Minnesotans, we are a weird bunch. We put on a jacket in July when the temperature at the lake dips to a cool 65 degrees in the evening, but we will go outside in mid-February and celebrate a balmy 35 degrees wearing just a T-shirt. Go figure.

On January 12, 2023, MCIA held its 120th Annual Meeting in Fergus Falls. It was an excellent gathering with outstanding speakers, great sponsors, and wonderful time to network with our fellow seed professionals. It was great to have the meeting in person again and to visit with those who attended.

I would like to thank Fawad Shah and the great staff at MCIA for organizing such an excellent event, especially the speaker lineup, which was beyond fantastic. Special thanks to Seth Dagoberg, Kris Folland, and Michelle Menken for their great presentations about the MCIA services they manage. Please make plans now to attend next year’s annual meeting. You will be glad you did.

During my Chairman’s Report at the meeting, I spoke for the Board of Directors and wanted all members to know that MCIA is in a sound financial position and has a bright future. How bright? That will depend on the extent to which members participate in MCIA’s services: acres certified and use of our seed lab. With your continued support, MCIA will be here to serve its members for years to come.

Over the past few years, almost all our businesses have dealt with staffing problems. Correct? Well, MCIA has experienced staff turnover as well. Fawad and all involved have somehow managed to attract not just people, but absolutely great people, to fill vacated positions. The new staff I have met have impressed me immensely. They are going to be wonderful additions to our organization.

Again, thank you to all who attended our annual meeting: You, the members, along with the best staff in the industry, are what makes our organization great.

Have a great and prosperous 2023!

Call for Award Nominations


We encourage members to submit nominations for MCIA’s annual Honorary Premier Seed Grower, Premier Seed Grower, and Achievement in Crop Improvement awards, which will be presented at the MCIA Annual Meeting, January 12, 2023.

If you know a producer, seed conditioner, or supporter of MCIA deserving of recognition for their service to the seed industry, involvement in MCIA, and contributions to their community, or if you have questions about nomination requirements, please contact Roger Wippler at 1-800-510-6242 or by e-mail at

Seeking Board Candidates

board of directors map
MCIA Board Districts

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is seeking candidates for 5 positions on its 11-member Board of Directors. (For your reference, please see the accompanying MCIA Board Districts map.)

The following seats are open: Directors for Districts 1, 2, and 3, and directors for two Related Industry positions. The District 1 seat is currently held by Brent Benike, who is eligible for re-election. The District 2 seat is held by Darius Thiel, who is not eligible for re-election. In District 3, Jason Larsen is unable to complete his three-year term. The person elected will complete the final two years of this term. One Related Industry seat is currently held by Matt Bohn, who is not eligible for re-election. The other Related Industry seat is held by Grant Mehring, who is eligible for re-election.

These positions are Category A Directors, who are elected by and from the members of MCIA at its Annual Meeting to serve three-year terms. The Board of Directors is the Association’s policy-making body. It is required to hold at least two regular meetings per calendar year in addition to the Annual Meeting. MCIA’s 2023 Annual Meeting will be held January 12, 2023.

If you are interested in serving on the MCIA Board of Directors or you would like to nominate someone to serve, please contact MCIA President/CEO Fawad Shah at 1-800-510-6242 or by e-mail at