Chair’s Report (PCN Spring 2015) MAR 25 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Allison Ammeter, APG Chair
Greetings from the Chair! This is my first time making that statement as I have only been in this position since January 28. It is with great anticipation of all that 2015 holds for the pulse industry that I begin here by introducing myself to you. My name is Allison Ammeter, and my husband Michael and I farm near Sylvan Lake, growing a rotation of peas, faba beans, barley (malt and feed), wheat, canola, and oats on about 2,200 acres of grey wooded soil. I have been a Director with Alberta Pulse Growers for two years, and I am very excited about pulses and the direction that our commission is going.
In January, APG completed its 25th anniversary celebration year as a commission, culminating in a very well attended AGM. One highlight of the AGM was the presentation of an Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award to Lud Prudek, APG’s first chair and a key innovator in the Alberta pulse industry (see the story on Page 15). Another highlight was the active debate of three resolutions that had come up from our zones, which is a healthy sign of grower grassroots involvement.
Sadly, we also said goodbye to two of our Directors, Richard Krikke and Casey Koomen, as they sunsetted off the board after several admirable years of service to APG. We will miss them both at the board table. Good governance entails term limits, and though we hated to say goodbye to them, we also welcomed two new Directors – James Jackson and Tim VanderHoek. Sarah Weigum was also re-elected as Director-at-Large, NonBean. I look forward to serving our new board!
As you read this, APG is in the throes of renewed strategic planning to set the direction of the commission for the next few years. To prepare for this, we have involved our board, advisors, key industry partners, and growers like you through the survey we issued in the fall. I know that this process will leave us stronger and even more focused as we move forward.
Increasingly, pulses are being recognized in Alberta and in Canada as a healthy food, high in protein and fibre, low in fat compared to other carbohydrates, able to regulate dietary sugars (important for diabetics), and good for increasing satiety (important for weight loss or maintenance). Pulses are also recognized as environmentally sustainable crops that fix their own nitrogen and improve the soil. Add this to the fact that they are gluten-free and mostly non-allergenic, and we are truly growing and selling one of the “super foods” of the next decade!
One thing that I am positive APG will focus on in the near future is IYOP 2016 – International Year of Pulses. Globally, the entire pulse industry is gearing up to celebrate this United Nations declaration with a pulse branding plan, key conferences and important messaging for growers, consumers, health professionals, and food industry producers.
APG’s theme has been “grow more pulses, sell more pulses”, and I believe IYOP will really ramp this up on a national and global scale. Watch for more information as 2016 draws near! On a personal note, I also serve as Canadian Chair of the IYOP committee, which is an honour, and a position that dovetails very well with that of APG Chair.
The year 2015 is set to be an exciting one for APG. I look forward to our renewed strategic plan, involvement with IYOP, and, most of all, to interacting with other pulse growers in Alberta as we each seek to grow the lean, clean protein for which the world is increasingly asking!