Elite Barley: Canadian Malt Barley Grower Recognition Program

Winnipeg, Man., January 16, 2012. Fifteen barley producers from across Canada are being honored under the Elite Barley grower recognition program for their excellence in producing malt barley in 2011.

Elite Barley is an industry led effort overseen by the malting barley value chain. The goal is to celebrate the best production techniques but also to shine a spotlight on the value of malt and malt barley production to the Canadian economy and agriculture in general, explains Michael Brophy, president and CEO of the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI) and co-chair of the Elite Barley program.

“These elite growers take great care in pre-seeding planning and in the growing, harvesting and storage management of their malting barley to meet the needs and specifications of their customers,” says Brophy. “They treat their malting barley as a specialty crop.”

“Only the very best growers consistently achieve malt barley status with their crop each year,” says Elite Barley co-chair, Michael Edney of the Canadian Grain Commission. “The growers nominated under this program typically represent that level of success. They represent the first step in Canada’s reputation for malt excellence worldwide.”

Canada’s malt barley industry represented nearly $300 million in farmgate receipts in 2010. That value is substantially higher when the value added benefits of brewing and malting activity are considered.

Growers nominated for 2011 are: Brian Broberg, Gull Lake, Sask.; Terry Hunt, Gull Lake, Sask.; Jack Kuntz, Balgonie, Sask.; John Germs, Saskatoon, Sask.; Vern Neill, Kelliher, Sask.; Frank Hamel, Olds, Alta. and Outlook, Sask.; Gerard Neill, Morrin, Alta.; Ken Hughes, Gull Lake, Sask.; Warren Morris, Kerrobert, Sask.; Cadieux Farms, Letellier, Man.; Chris and Bob Izyk, Blackie, Alta.; Francois Messier, Saskatoon, Sask.; Mike Vavrek, Sexsmith, Alta.; Rodney F. Koch, Edenwold, Sask.; and Wade Koch, Edenwold, Sask.

Nominating companies include BARI-Canada Inc.; Canada Malting Co. Ltd.; Rahr Malting Canada Ltd.; Richardson Pioneer, Prairie Malt Limited; Seed-Ex Inc., South West Terminal, and Viterra.

The program also enjoys support from a number of key sponsors. They include the Alberta Barley Commission, Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute, Brewers Association of Canada, SeCan, Syngenta and the Western Barley Growers Association.

More information on the Elite Barley program, including a 2012 Special Report is available on the program website www.elitebarley.com.That report includes overviews of each producer along with production tips from growers and industry specialists.

Click here to view the 2011 program information.

Click here to view the 2009 program information.


To find out more about BMBRI membership, contact

Michael Brophy
President and CEO

Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute

Darcy Kirtzinger
Research and Policy Coordinator
Alberta Barley Commission