Partnering Makes Good Business Sense (PCN Winter 2014) JAN 23 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Many organizations talk about partnerships, it is a buzz word of the day. Whether an organization is forced to partner because of resource limitations or is looking to partner to capture opportunities, whatever reason companies do it partnerships remain good business sense.
Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) has taken the viewpoint that working together is important. It is engrained as one of the six values listed in our organizational value statements; these guide both our thinking and our actions.
There are several successes that Alberta Pulse Growers have achieved in working with our partners.
Alberta Pulse Growers has grown its research portfolio significantly over the past 25 years. With increases in pulse prices, we are seeing reflective increases in service fees. We can invest in solid scientific research that will achieve our goals and objectives. For example, partnership was critical to the securing of funding for the July 2013 announcement of the Agri-Science Cluster program (which included a $15 Million investment by Agriculture Agri-Food Canada).
This meant working with other provincial pulse organizations – Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, Ontario Bean Growers, and Pulse Canada. This also meant working with Government of Canada researchers, and researchers located at universities across Canada to develop projects. It also offered a chance to work with other potential funding organizations, like the Western Grains Research Foundation, to fully address opportunities for advancing research for our growers.
In addition to the Agri-Science Cluster partnerships, APG has continued to look for partnerships through the Agriculture Funding Consortium process. The Agriculture Funding Consortium is a 15 member consortium which represents agriculture funders and commodity organizations in Alberta, whose goal is to create a one-window stop for review and collaboration on agriculture research projects. This is to make the process more efficient for both researchers, who only need to write a single proposal and enter it into the funding request process to be seen by all 15 members as well as industry, who can review and openly discuss partnership opportunities with other groups on specific projects. APG has partnered with Funding Consortium members to achieve results on projects leveraging resources from other organizations engaged in the cropping industry.
During the “All Crops Tours” this summer, the crop industry and friends partnering together to showcase and share information on Alberta crops; APG participated in four well organized crop tours, working with Ducks Unlimited Canada, Alberta Barley Commission, Alberta Canola Growers Commission, and Alberta Wheat Commission. Events were held in Beaverlodge, Lacombe, Oyen and Lethbridge.
The inaugural “All Crops Breakfast” demonstrated added value to growers attending the Agri-Trade in Red Deer. By focusing on topics of commonality between organizations (like marketing), APG and our event partners, Barley, Canola and Wheat, shared the costs to put on a morning breakfast that attracted over 110 growers. Information was heard, and predictions were made as to where markets were headed. In addition, we were fortunate to attract Minister Ritz who brought greetings to the audience and shared his current priorities and objectives. It was a successful event and we hope to bring it to growers again next year.
APG has worked with crop commodity groups, Alberta Pork, and Alberta Lamb to support and host “Chops and Crops” in October. This event is focused to share information about our industries with the government. The evening mixer gives our agriculture organizations a chance to interact with Members of the Legislative Assembly to share how we contribute to Alberta’s economic bottom line and communicate our priorities, challenges, and opportunities with key decision makers. This October the theme was “What’s on the plate?” Over 20 MLA’s attended, plus government representatives and industry. This was the second year of the event and it is a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about the pulse industry.
As in previous years, APG held successful joint Zone/Regional Meetings. Working with Alberta Barley Commission in two pulse grower zones (2 and 4) in Acme and Sexsmith. Pulse grower staff work with barley staff to plan the event, share the agenda, and the split costs. Joint meetings are a chance for our growers to learn about what other commissions are doing and most growers are usually members of both organizations so it is a convenient way to spend a day during the busy fall meeting season.
Farm Tech – Canada’s Premiere Crop Production and Farm Management Conference: APG has been a Farm Tech Host since the initiation of the conference. Alongside, Barley, Wheat, Canola, and the Alberta Seed Growers Association, APG has been helping plan and coordinate Farm Tech Conferences for the past 15 years. Hosts provide funding, grower input to the conference agenda, and participate on the Farm Tech Foundation of Alberta – the not-for-profit society advocating grower extension and farm management learning opportunities.
These are just some of the areas that APG is engaged in your industry. We are leveraging, grower dollars and resources to help support activities and investment that benefit you as a pulse grower. As in our Value statement, “Our experience with this has shown that the profile of the organization and future opportunities for APG grow at an exponential rate by working effectively with key organizations.” It just makes good business sense.
Build and Maintain Relationships
Being a small organization, it is essential for APG to work with other groups, including industry and government. Our experience with this has shown that the profile of the organization and future opportunities for APG grow at an exponential rate while working effectively with key organizations. To most effectively work with other organizations and individuals, APG is committed to being flexible and adaptable to others’ needs. www.pulse.ab.ca/about/values