The Kansas Wheat Alliance, the newly formed organization for delivery of K-State wheat varieties, has announced that it will contract with the Kansas Crop Improvement Association for temporary management of its administrative functions.
The KCIA is a non-profit membership organization that includes wheat farmers, certified seed producers, wheat researchers and others with a stake in the wheat industry. Forrest Chumley, head of the Kansas Wheat Alliance, says the temporary management agreement will be an efficient start-up measure for the organization.
"This agreement helps us achieve our mission in an economical way," Chumley says. "The people in KCIA who are involved have tremendous relevant expertise in the wheat industry, and knowledge of our customer base."
The KCIA will handle KWA's administrative, bookkeeping, and promotional activities until the new organization is equipped to hire an executive of its own. KCIA personnel involved in certification activities will be excluded from KWA business in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
Tim Oborny, Bison, president of KCIA, sees the temporary agreement as illustrative of the effort that seed producers are willing to put forth for the success of a wheat variety release mechanism in Kansas.
"KCIA recognizes the Kansas Wheat Alliance as an important priority for its members," Oborny says. "I think our agreement with KWA shows how dedicated we are to the success of this venture."
The Kansas Wheat Alliance was formed in June 2007 by six organizations in the wheat and seed industries, in partnership with Kansas State University, in order to promote stewardship of traits and varieties and ensure the delivery of improved wheat varieties for farmers and consumers.
The KWA will have the first option to commercialize all future K-State-developed wheat varieties. The existing varieties Jagger, Overley, Danby, RonL, and Fuller have been licensed by KWA. Through the Kansas Wheat Research and Education Fund, royalties on sales of these varieties will be invested into wheat education and research, leading to the development of new, improved varieties.
"This organization will allow us to make farmer-preferred traits available through new wheat varieties, but it will also benefit the end user with higher quality wheat," Chumley says. "KWA is an important thing for everybody who cares about wheat in Kansas."
For information on KWA membership options, contact Executive Director Daryl Strouts at 785-477-3400 or [email protected].