Zone 2 Welcomes Two New Commissioners (PCN Winter 2013) JAN 1 2013 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Pulse Crop News.
With both Gerry Good and Barry Grabo finishing their terms on the Alberta Pulse Growers Provincial Board, Zone 2 has elected by acclamation two new Commissioners. Read on to learn more about Douglas Sell and Allison Ammeter, who will be representing Zone 2 at the Board level as of January 2013.
Married with three adult children, Doug Sell and his wife of 28 years, Gayle, have a mixed farming operation near Beiseker that includes cow/calf, wheat, canola, barley, and, of course, pulses. Doug and his family have been growing pulses for over 12 years, and last year, pulses accounted for 500 acres on his farm.
“Peas are our staple, but I have experimented with lentils the last three years,” said Doug. “The first year was not so successful, but the last two seasons, I was very satisfied. Now if only the price would cooperate! I had a test plot of fababeans last season as well, which was an interesting learning experience.”
After becoming a Zone 2 Advisor a year ago, Doug participated this past summer in a crop walk, where he had plots of lentils and fababeans surrounded by peas. Wanting to learn and hoping to contribute to agriculture and pulses in particular led Doug to become more involved in the Commission, as he feels pulses are a very good part of a crop rotation.
“The mineralization of the pulse residue for the follow-up crop is, in my opinion, really quite invaluable,” said Doug. “The overall tilth of the soil is improved with pulse rotations.”
Doug says he has enjoyed getting to know the APG staff, Advisors, and Commissioners during his year as an Advisor and is now looking forward to working more closely with everyone in exploring new opportunities for the pulse industry. “The area of research and development interests me in that other commodity groups have made some really significant gains in yield and quality when private industry got involved, and I hope some of that private type investment can help move pulse breeding ahead more quickly.”
Welcome aboard, Doug!
Allison Ammeter and her husband of 25 years, Michael, have raised three children on a third-generation grain farm southwest of Sylvan Lake. The Ammeters crop approximately 2,000 acres in a rotation of canola, wheat, barley, and peas, with occasional oats or hay in the mix. Last year, Allison and Michael grew 300 acres of yellow peas, continuing a long tradition of pulse production on the farm.
“We have grown peas off and on for about 20 years,” said Allison. “My father-in-law tried peas and fababeans in the mid-seventies for hog feed, with mixed results. We plan to try fababeans again in the next two to three years.
Though Allison’s family responsibilities did not allow her to have extra participation in the Commission until her children were older, as they are now, Allison kept well-informed about the industry prior to becoming an Advisor last year.
“I’ve always attended all of the farm fairs, commodity group meetings, and agricultural conventions with my husband, so I am not a stranger to agricultural research and change mechanisms,” said Allison. Over the past year, she has gained greater understanding of the Commission through her work on the Communications Committee, where she played an integral role in defining Alberta Pulse Growers’ brand and upgrading the Commission’s website.
All of her efforts on behalf of the organization are a result of the benefits she sees in growing pulses. “Pulses have allowed us to diversify our crop sales, improve our land through the nitrogen fixing, and help our crop rotations.”
And she feels that these benefits are not only limited to pulse producers.
“I’m very interested in being part of the future of pulses in Alberta,” said Allison. “I believe as consumers recognize more fully the benefits of pulses in their diet for protein, fibre, nutrition, and taste, our industry can only benefit. I hope to see not only increased production and improved varieties, but increased value-added industry within our province as well.”