Victor Martens, Cigi’s first Executive Director, passed away on July 26, 2017 at the age of 97. Mr. Martens was integral to the creation of Cigi, leading the organization from its inception in 1972 to 1981. During this period Cigi established itself as a unique organization based on a vision to build a facility that could teach Canadians and customers alike about the Canadian grain industry; promote the export of Canadian grains and provide a forum for information exchange between Canada and its trading partners. That basic concept remains the same today as Cigi works with the value chain throughout Canada and internationally to increase utilization opportunities for Canadian grain and field crops.
During his time as executive director, Mr. Martens met representatives from more than 60 countries attending Cigi programs. “It is testimony to Mr. Martens vision that today more than 45,000 people from 115 countries have participated in Cigi programs over the past 45 years,” says Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth.
A leader in the Canadian grain industry, Mr. Martens’ career spanned more than 40 years, beginning when he joined the staff of the Board of Grain Commissioners (now the Canadian Grain Commission) in 1940. He worked in various areas of equipment development where one of his major accomplishments was the development of a moisture metre which became the standard type used in Canada and was later marketed in the U.S. In 1971, as Secretary and Director of Administration in the CGC’s Executive Division, Mr. Martens played a major role in drafting the Canada Grain Act. He also developed the concept for rationalizing Canadian red spring wheat grades which ultimately led to a system for guaranteeing their protein content for domestic and export shipments.
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