After 34 years leading the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA), Roger Wippler has retired.
Wippler was the manager of the University of Minnesota Foundation Seed program before his retirement in November 2023. Minnesota Soybean Director of Research David Kee recalled as manager, especially early in Wippler’s career, he provided seed for growers in the northwest to grow soybeans.
He was the bridge between the U of M plant breeders’ program and the seed companies so they can expand their seed to the farmers.
“I have had a good career here at Minnesota Crop Improvement,” Wippler said. “There have been a lot of changes over the years, both here at MCIA and in agriculture. The variety of work that I have been part of has been very rewarding. I’ve worked with many great people, here at MCIA, at the U of M, seed growers and many others I have gotten to know through the years.”
MCIA and Minnesota Soybean go back to the beginning. Some of the original Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) directors were also MCIA directors and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and MSGA directors have sat on the MCIA board.
“I enjoyed working with the Minnesota Soybean growers,” Wippler said. “MCIA members were instrumental in forming the soybean grower’s organization and MCIA has a good relationship with the organization ever since.”
On top of that, Minnesota Soybean has supported the MCIA annual meeting for several years.
“We are very appreciative of his service to the soybean industry, and he will be missed,” Kee said.
Following Wippler’s retirement, Carl Anfinson took over as manager of the foundation seed program for Wippler. Hallock farmer and Council Director Kris Folland is a MCIA field services manager.
MCIA provides certification and quality assurance services to agricultural and food product producers and handlers. Products certified by MCIA include field crop seed, turf seed, sod, native plant seed, noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch, identity-preserved grains for specialty grain markets, as well as numerous organic crops, livestock and food products. MCIA also provides customized quality assurance services such as field inspections, seed and grain facility evaluations, as well as third-party audit and on-site evaluations. MCIA produces and distributes foundation seed of publicly developed crop varieties and serves as the marketing agent for licensing varieties developed at the University of Minnesota.