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Executive Director’s Message (PCN Spring 2014) MAY 5 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director

It has been a busy winter with big issues like transportation dominating many discussions. Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) has not be resting while these issues are being discussed. Our strong linkages to our national organization, Pulse Canada, and the work that we’ve been doing with Grain Growers of Canada has kept our farmer voice loud and targeted on the key issues. You can be assured that the story is being told and there is an assertive effort to make change.

APG has been working with Pulse Canada supporting the efforts of the transportation logistics project on performance review with their partners, the Grain Growers of Canada, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Alberta Wheat Commission, the Western Grain Elevators Association, the Inland Terminals Association of Canada and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association. The project is not aimed to be an immediate fix on the agriculture transportation woes, but it does contribute to a long term incremental shift that will benefit growers moving forward and will contribute to recommendations forwarded to the Rail Service Act which will be up for review in 2015.

In addition with our work at Grain Growers of Canada, in the past few months APG representatives have presented at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and met with Members of Parliament to tell the producer story resulting from not being able to move our product. The message has been sent and at the beginning of March, Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz held a joint press conference to announce an Order in Council to get the grain moving to our markets and preserve our position as a global supplier feeding the world.

Another topic that growers need to be aware of is the discussion on Neonicotinoides. When it comes to advocacy farmers should be standing up strong on bee health. We are featuring an article on ‘Pollinator Politics.’ Which will discuss the importance of bees and also the importance of the farmer voice and advocacy.

Aside from logistics and advocacy efforts; APG has been busy preparing for spring. With that in mind we always look to providing growers with agronomic information. Included in this issue is information on seeding – very timely for the season. We are also sharing a story on some research work we’ve been investigating on competitive ability of field pea. APG will be communicating more information about our research in future Pulse Crop News magazine editions.

In addition to preparations for spring, we are also working on our outreach and becoming engaged once more with students in a variety of ways. APG participates in the Classroom Agriculture Program and inside PCN there is some news about changes to the structure of the organization. Changes that industry hopes will make the group even more effective and sustainable. We challenged students through the Mission ImPULSEible program in March. We had 6 teams competing this year and I’m amazed at the creativity of the products. The winners will compete nationally this summer. Watch for APG as we also participate at Aggie Days in April. We’ll be happily sharing the message about healthy, versatile and economically friendly pulses to kids of all ages. We’ll also have some terrific pens to share with the kids.

With our Annual Meeting behind us now, we are pleased to welcome new Commissioners to our provincial board. It is always good to have injection of new ideas and perspective so we look forward to working with our new members as we prepare for another crop year. We will continue working for our membership on the many areas of our organization’s grow, buy and eat philosophy and will keep you informed on our advancements through PCN, Pulse Check, social media outreach and on our web site.

Please contact us at any time if you have comments to share. You can do this by contacting us toll free at 1-877-550-9398 or by email at or stop by 5007B-49th Avenue Leduc. I hope that you have a good spring and I look forward to seeing fantastic pulse crops across Alberta.