Board of Directors

Roles and Responsibilities

SaskFSA Board of Directors are collectively accountable to SaskFSA membership and their families, rural communities, SaskFSA sponsors, all stakeholders, and the future of agriculture in Saskatchewan. We are grassroots professionals that believe in providing specific solutions to agriculture water and land policy challenges.

It is the responsibility of our board directors to advocate for progressive land and water management policy driven by agriculture landowners and supported by the citizens of Saskatchewan

Interested in making a difference? Read more about what is involved in being a SaskFSA Board Director

To nominate someone to be a SaskFSA board member please contact us.

Current SaskFSA Board

MYLES THORPE – PRESIDENT

BSA

Owner of Thorpe Ag Ventures

Myles Thorpe operates Thorpe Ag Ventures, a grain farm in the Spy Hill, Sask area, about an hour SE of Yorkton.  Myles grew up on the family farm, where he became passionate about agriculture, always knowing where his career path would take him.  He bought his first ¼ section at the age of 17, and has been invested ever since!

Myles completed a degree in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan, and following that, worked in the Ag industry for nine years in various sales, management and financial lending roles.  These combined experiences have given him the drive to maximize the efficiency of all aspects on his farm, especially its most vital assets, land and water.

Myles is the president of Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association.  SaskFSA advocates for progressive land and water management policy driven by agriculture landowners and supported by the citizens of Saskatchewan.  Whether it is by traditional surface methods, or by tile drainage, responsible and organized land and water management is vital to the success of individual farms, communities and the province. The importance of land and water management is often over looked. Myles advocates for SK farmers and the benefits  of a well-designed land and water management plan as he knows first-hand the economic and agronomic benefits.

Email Myles Thorpe

KYLE HEGGIE – VICE PRESIDENT

Kyle Heggie grew up on a grain farm that helped him to pursue a career in agriculture. He attended Olds College in 2003 and received a diploma in Agriculture Production and Management in 2005.

Kyle purchased his first quarter of land in 2004 from his uncle. This is where Kyle, his wife Natashka, and their three beautiful girls (Nevaeh, Quinn & Sawyer) call home.

In 2015 Kyle, his dad, and his brother combined their farms to make Eskdale Acres Inc. They currently farm 6000 acres in the Leross Area.  They are pedigreed seed growers of cereals, oilseeds, pulses, and spices. Along with growing commercial grains and oilseeds. They also, operate a seed cleaning mill that keeps us busy throughout the winter and spring months.

In Kyle’s area, water management has been non existent and is starting to show the negative effects. These negative effects have resulted in historical productive acres being destroyed due to flooding, soil erosion, and salinity.

Kyle is currently a board of director for IHARF and Saskfsa, and has been since 2015.

 

Email Kyle Heggie

DAVID ZERR – PAST PRESIDENT

David Zerr is the owner of a third generation family farm that celebrated it’s centennial in 1998.  David purchased his first quarter of land in 1973 and has been on a C&D Board for 30 years, an RM Councilor for 16 years, a Board member of Smith Creek Watershed Association for 4 years and a founding member of SaskFSA — past President and currently serving as Vice-President.  David is passionate about farming and views the work done by SaskFSA to be the most important initiative in farming today. Through lobbying and working with the Provincial Government, SaskFSA hopes to help develop policies that can work for farmers so that future generations can be involved in sustainable agriculture.  It is imperative that farmers are at the negotiating table when decisions are being made about their industry.

David graduated from University of Regina in 1975 before traveling around the world for 7 months. He’s also had a number of seasonal jobs while farming, including:

  • Worked in INCO smelter in Thompson, Mb.
  • Spent a winter working on a drilling rig in northern Ab.
  • Worked as a Brakeman for CNR for three yrs.
  • Worked as a Corrections Worker at Regina Correctional Centre for 4 yrs
  • Worked as a ski instructor at Big White Ski Area for 5 yrs.
  • General Manager of Duck Mtn. ski area for 5 yrs.
  • Snow school manager at Asessippi ski area for 16 yrs.
  • And says that he’s still looking for something that he’s good at!
 

NEIL RATHGEBER – TREASURER

Neil Rathgeber have been farming all his life on a fourth-generation farm.  Neil and his wife Tricia, along with their three children, Tessa, Royce & Ella, own a grain-farming operation north of Churchbridge, SK.  Neil is one of the founding members of the SaskFSA, and sits on the Smith Creek Watershed Council. He has enjoyed helping as an assistant coach with the kids’ hockey teams, and participating in the “Ag in the Classroom” events at our local school.  

After completing the Ag Mechanics program, Neil worked for a short period of time at a local John Deere dealership before taking a job with Thyssen Mining at the Esterhazy potash mine.  For several years, Neil worked underground controlling water flow, as well as on oil rigs in northern SK, in addition to farming. The negative attitudes towards farming in the 80’s inspired me to work harder to make their farm successful.

In 2001 Neil made the choice to make farming his main focus.  He has never shied away from new technology, and has tried to implement strategies that provide for long-term success.

Water management has always been a crucial component to their farm.  They’ve had more return from improving water management practices than any other technology they have embraced.  They’ve worked with their RM and neighbours to control water flow from our land, and mitigate damages downstream during recent years of heavy rainfall.  Churchbridge was one of the only RM’s on the east side of the province that didn’t declare an emergency or require financial assistance during the substantial rainfall events in the past few years.  Their area has been very progressive in regards to water management, and Neil can share that extensive experience with the SaskFSA Board. Neil believes we need to help develop a water management strategy to move this province forward in a sustainable way.

 

Email Neil Rathgeber

MARTIN FOERSTER – BOARD DIRECTOR

Martin Foerster was born 1957 in Germany. Martin grew up on a mixed farm, got a University Diploma in AG economics in 1981, and farmed in Germany till 1997. Martin immigrated to Canada in 1997 with his family and continued farming. In the Fall of 2012 he bought a Farm near Jedburgh and today he farms with his son.

Martin considers successful farming as not possible without stewardship. When Martin came to Saskatchewan after having farmed many years in Ontario, he was shocked in what a state the infrastructure was — mainly roads ditches and waterways and how it impacts the land. Martin is a strong believer in improving the current bad situation for the benefit to farmers and the environment.

Martin sees the damage done by “so called experts” from certain EP groups to be extremely prevalent. He thinks we can do better for the benefit of the whole society.

Martin was asked to become a director on the board of SaskFSA last year and was elected.

 

Email Martin Foerster

TIM MITSCHKE – BOARD DIRECTOR

Tim Mitschke of Langenburg Saskatchewan started farming and got married to Deb at 19 years of age.  In the years that followed, they also farmed with brothers Ken and Bill and their, wives Donna and Hazel.  Today they also farm with Chris and Joelene, Fred and Julie, and Mike and Kim. It is a multi-generational family corporate Farm. One of Tim and Deb’s goals over their lives was not to export their kids to Alberta.

Over the years of farming, Tim also spent a lot of his time coaching hockey in the winter.  For 30 years, Tim was a coach. He spent the winters with his kids in the rink and in the dairy barn  The summers were too busy to do much other than farming, but that was fine. Farming is their life.

Today, Tim still helps at the farm when called, but is also on Leroy Walz Charity Golf, Langenburg RM council, Chair of the Smith Creek Watershed Association,  and a director of SaskFSA.

Tim believes that the fight that SaskFSA fights today, to get water rules that fit modern ag, is the most important issue facing our farms today,   It is about the right to farm now and for the next generation.

 

Email Tim Mitschke

FRANCK GROENEWEG – BOARD DIRECTOR

Franck Groeneweg owns and operates Green Atlantic Farms Edgeley, Saskatchewan. Growing on a family farm in France, Franck completed a diploma in Agriculture and moved to Iowa to farm corn and soybeans. Due to a lack of opportunities for expansion, he and his wife, Kari relocated to Saskatchewan!

Franck is passionate about promoting modern agriculture as the most sustainable way to “feed the world”. His interests include precision farming and equipment technologies. As a private pilot, he often has his head in the clouds. In December 2008 Franck was honoured to become a Canadian citizen. Franck and Kari have four young children and were named 2011 Saskatchewan Outstanding Young Farmers.

A land base of 6000 acres is rotationally cropped with wheat, canola, peas, flax, and fababeans. In addition to farming Franck has served on the board of the Indian Head Ag Research Foundation, the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, the Canadian Canola Growers Association and Grain Growers of Canada. He is currently on the board of the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association and Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.

 

Email Franck Groeneweg

BERNARD BAUCHE – BOARD DIRECTOR

Bernard Bauche graduated from high school in 1974 then attended the University of Saskatchewan where he completed two year diplomas in ag. A year later, Bernard made the plunge and bought some land. At that time, interest rates were .08 % and went to 23%, along with some machinery loans he needed to supplement his income with off farm job which turned out to be oil drilling rigs every winter for 5 years.

In 1984, Bernard met his wife, Nancy, and was married soon after. Bernard and Nancy have 4 children: Chantal, Matthieu, Mila, and Thomas. Mila is married and farms with her husband, Jordon, just 5 miles north of Redvers. They have two children. Chantal, Matthieu, and Thomas are all deeply involved in the farm, called B 6 Farms Ltd. They farm just shy of 5000 acres. From the time Bernard started farming until now, he has done a lot of drainage work with scrapers, blades, and to some extent, they’ve done some tiling. Bernard firmly believe SaskFSA is 100% in the right direction. He just wishes it was around when he started farming.

 

Email Bernard Bauche

TYRALL FINLAYSON – BOARD DIRECTOR

Tyrall Finlayson grew up on a farm near Quill Lake and from a very young age he knew that he wanted to make his living as a farmer. Tyrall is the 5th generation on his farm and takes a lot of pride in his family’s farming history.  Tyrall rented his first quarter of Land in 2000, and in 2001 graduated from Quill Lake High School. After High School, Tyrall continued to expand his acres and spent the next six winters working in the oilfield on service and drilling rigs to help support his farming habit.

Today with his wife Sheila and their 4 kids, Tyrall and his family operate Southview Farms Ltd., which consists of 7000 acres growing Wheat, Barley, Oats, and Canola. He is happy to be a director for SaskFSA. Tyrall says he feels it is very important that we have a strong voice to advocate for responsible land and water management. That, if we lose the ability to manage these resources, it would remove all profitability from farming and would have major repercussions to the provincial economy. Tyrall believes we have to work together with government to ensure that we have the right policy in place so future generations can continue to be successful.

 

Email Tyrall Finlayson

BLAIR HARRIS – BOARD DIRECTOR

Blair Harris was born in 1963 on his family’s Century farm near Yorkton and currently live 2 miles from his great-grandfathers 1887 homestead.  Blair bought his first quarter of land in 1984 while attending the University of Saskatchewan obtaining his Degree in Agriculture. He chose to major in soil science; without the soil, there is no farming.  His farm is located east of Yorkton along Yorkton Creek which acts as a barometer of the water level in the region.

Blair spent 7 years working at the Sask Crop Insurance head office in Melville.  He was responsible for developing policies and ensuring actuarial soundness of the crop insurance program.  Blair was part of the committees that developed individual coverage programs and insurance on new crops. He was the Sask representative on the national committee to develop the Gross Revenue Insurance Program in the 90s.

For the next 7 years, Blair worked as a Agronomist for a fertilizer company in various parts of the province, Rosetown, North Battleford, Weyburn and back to Yorkton.  He also worked as a private Ag Consultant scouting fields in the summer and assisting farmers complete CAIS forms in the winter.

After getting married to Dolores in 2002, Blair and his wife bought their neighbor’s farm and moved to the country. Since then, I have farmed full time, expanding and taking over management of the family farm which has grown to 3,000 acres.  While most of my land is well drained by the Yorkton Creek, he has also seen the results when it floods. They also have land that is affected by other well intentioned “Conservation” projects.

 

Email Blair Harris

CANDACE MITSCHKE HILLER BSA, PAg – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Candace grew up on a grain and dairy farm that her brothers and their families now own and operate. The farm and her family are part of her, and she still remains involved through farm business and transition planning, support and of course driving the combine every now and then! Candace is a Professional Agrologist and a proud agvocate with a diverse background in many different fields within the agriculture industry. Candace is Executive Director of SaskFSA and also works as a Communication Manager with a crop production retail. She works with farmers every day and considers herself a farmer. Candace believes Agriculture is the best industry to be involved in. She works with SaskFSA not because policy is easy but because she believes in the mandate of the organization, that farmers need a voice and that voice needs to be heard.

Candace’s previous work experience includes swine production research, livestock nutrition formulation, quality assurance programming, forage exporting, functional food market research and product development, field adjusting and crop insurance program development, owning and operating a photography and graphic design business. Candace is now focused on Executive Director for SaskFSA, marketing and communications for Sharpe’s Crop Services and inspiring the next generation to know agriculture through founding and coordinating Learn AG, a hands-on program for students to learn about agriculture!

 

Email Candace Mitschke-Hiller

DEANNA YUNG – PROJECT SUPPORT

Deanna Yung was born in Saskatoon, SK but likes to say she was raised on her parents and grandparent’s farms outside of Watson and Annaheim.  Deanna spent most weekends and summers on the farm, where she learned how to drive, garden, play cribbage, mow lawns, pick rocks and chase pigs back into the pens.  

Deanna went through school in Saskatoon, as well as SIAST obtaining a Diploma in Chemistry Technology in 2008.  From there she moved to Regina to work for SaskPower, in a Research and Development role (she thinks this was her favorite job).  Deanna stayed in Regina and started working for Mosaic Potash in Belle Plaine as a Lab Operator in Quality Control. there is where Deanna met her husband Drew, who also worked for Mosaic. She then did a stint for Cameco at their Key Lake operation, in the Quality Control Lab.  Deanna’s Husband was also working on the road but was offered a job with Mosaic in Esterhazy in 2011. They moved to Langenburg in the dead of winter in 2011. Deanna was able to come back to Mosaic and got a job in the Quality Control Lab in Esterhazy. She stayed in that role for six years.  

In 2018 Deanna left Mosaic to stay home and raise their family.  Candace soon scooped her up to come work for SaskFSA. Deanna says that, so far, this has been a great learning experience, and brought her back to her family roots.

 
 

In memory of and in tribute to:

Founding SaskFSA Board Director Ken Waldherr

Ken was invaluable to our SaskFSA team. He believed it was important to work with all levels of government in order to ensure that the best policies and actions are taken to protect the interests of farmers and their land. That with the combined voices of like minded farmers we can keep agriculture in Saskatchewan on the right track towards continued growth while responsibly managing our water, land and wildlife resources.

Ken’s dedication to community and agriculture sets a standard for all of us to follow. Thank-you Ken, you will be greatly missed by many.

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