President’s Report (PCN Spring 2014) MAY 5 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Richard Krikke, APG President
Often times we pay for many different things without thinking about where our dollars go; like supporting community leagues, sport programs or donations to service clubs. All of these groups are really great and do many things for our communities and our interests but do we really know how our money is spent? Like many of you, I am required to pay check-offs to many of the organizations in Alberta on the sale of the crops I grow. It is through my involvement with my organization and interacting with others that I have learnt how this funding is invested to benefit me and benefit my industry.
APG has committed to over $803,000 of funding over 5 years to Science Cluster 2.0. This allows me as a grower to fund and support disease research on fusarium; important research that may provide solutions to a growing issue for pulse crops in Canada. Disease is only part of the research puzzle, we are also investing in variety development. We continue to move forward on breeding programs and directly supporting Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Pea Breeding program through the Lacombe Research Centre.
Aside from Lacombe, APG also invests in the Agriculture Agri-Food Canada dry bean breeding program at Lethbridge and the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre to make sure we can have the best varieties for our needs. In addition, APG is an active participant in the Funding Consortium process and has committed to funding over $639 thousand in the most recent research call.
Our national organization has been a strong voice on many issues we’ve faced this past year. My grower investment has supported the critical work on transportation. This game-changing work that has brought together multiple grower groups and earned the confidence of government to address the issue. Pulse Canada’s work is well respected nationally on this issue and they’ve been working hard on it for all farmers.
Through our work and support nationally, Pulse Canada’s market access program works for me as a grower to address issues like maximum residue limits and low level presence. I rely on groups like Pulse Canada to make sure my crops can make it to market and I feel that my grower investment is working hard for me in this area.
Our mandate is for consumers to recognize pulses as environmentally friendly, healthy, and nutritious. Some of our service fees go to extending our messages into the consumer community through our website and publications. Alberta Pulse Growers has a fantastic consumer website and our publications are distributed through various networks like primary care centres and diabetes health centres. New this year, we are working with the Taste Alberta campaign to get our messages out about the healthy foods you can create with pulses.
At APG we feel that the Regional Variety Trial Program is an important resource for our growers. We’ve dedicated funding for the next 5 years to support the RVT program and make sure that pulse crops get trialed at sites across Alberta. This work will be done in conjunction with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and various agriculture research association cooperators.
To do all this work you need staff. We have a very dedicated staff who work hard for me as a grower and I appreciate their commitment and their enthusiasm for this industry. Our organization would not be as vibrant or active without them.
These are just some of the examples of where my check-off dollars go. The next time you think about where your check-off dollars go, think about how far we’ve come as an industry and the time and efforts of many people who got us there. In 25 years, our issues have got bigger, our scope and activity list is greater and our industry has developed; the investment that growers provide to our organizations has helped us get there and will assist us in the future.