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Off Into the Sunset…A Thank You to our Past Commissioners! (PCN Spring 2014) MAY 5 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

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

No organization is built overnight. Furthermore, its success and longevity is determined by construction of a strong foundation. This year the Alberta Pulse Growers board bid farewell to three members who have been integral in the construction, maintenance and growth of the organization. Their commitment and involvement is testimony to how producers are critical to the advancement and health of the pulse industry.

Neil Boyd (Zone 4) began his involvement with the Alberta Pulse Growers as Commissioner-at-large, a one-year position, in 2010. The following year, Boyd became a commissioner representing Zone 4 for a three-year term. As a commissioner, Boyd has been actively involved in the environmental and sustainability work of the APG, both topics that resonate strongly with him. Boyd was an active participant representing pulse growers across the province on the Agri-Environmental Partnership of Alberta (AEPA) and attended sustainability conferences with Pulse Canada.

“I tried to talk up the value of growing pulses in rotation and the sustainability of the land and the environment. Often there’s no dollar figure tied to it but I think it is important to the consumer. I think that’s one real value that pulses have and it will definitely be talked about during the International Year of Pulses in 2016.”

Boyd says he appreciated the leadership experience he received from being on the board and found that representing APG lead to great networking and contacts for him. Boyd remains as an advisor for Zone 4 and farms near Fairview, AB.

Harold Haugen (Zone 5) has been an active member of APG for over 15 years, and has held many different positions with the organization during this time. He began as an advisor, and was an active participant within Zone 5 for close to 10 years before being elected as a commissioner. He has seen the Alberta Pulse Growers evolve over time including 3 Executive Directors, 1 Interim Executive Director, 3 office moves, many staff changes and says “APG is just a great place to be”.

He has served on the FarmTech Foundation committee and has been an APG representatives for Grain Growers of Canada for many years. Haugen referenced the opportunity to attend conferences in Ottawa, Maryland and Beijing as highlights of his time with the APG board. Transportation and research stand out as priorities in Haugen’s mind as issues that APG needs to focus on moving forward.

“Losing our researchers through retirement or not being replaced is a huge issue and commissions will have to carry more of that load to maintain and move research forward,” he says. Haugen also remains as an advisor within his zone and farms near Lougheed, AB.

Gordon Tuck (Zone 5) first became involved with APG 20 years ago. At that point APG was still in its infancy, there were only three zones in Alberta and pulses were a relatively minor crop across much of the province. Over the duration of his involvement, Tuck has held positions both internally and externally including zone chair and chair of the extension committee and was an APG representative with the Grain Growers of Canada.

Tuck emphasizes continuous learning and networking with producers around Alberta as the best aspects of APG. Through his participation on the FarmTech Foundation committee, he relished the opportunity to meet Ron MacLean, Chris Hadfield and Catriona Le May Doan.

Tuck has walked with the organization through a number of changes to internal committee structure and organization, Pulse Crop News, APG staff, Alberta Agriculture and the pulse industry in general. He strongly feels that one of the key issues that APG needs to address is public-private breeding partnerships in research and ensuring breeders get a return on their products. Tuck currently remains as a Zone 5 advisor and farms by Vegreville, AB.

The board and staff of the Alberta Pulse Growers are grateful for the contributions of these three individuals. It is a testimony to the strength and relevance of the organization that each has chosen to remain active within their own zones. We look forward to their continued participation as we continue to move the pulse industry forward.