Director Profile: Tim VanderHoek (PCN Spring 2015) MAR 25 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Tim VanderHoek, Director-at-Large (Bean)
Tim VanderHoek lives near Vauxhall, AB. He was elected to a one-year term as APG’s Director-at-Large (Bean) in January.
Pulse Crop News: Please tell us about your family and your farm.
Tim VanderHoek: My wife Michelle and I have two kids: Ashlyn, 3, and Levi, 1. I work on the family farm with my father; we have been working together for around 10 years. We grow a variety of crops like wheat, seed canola, corn, beans, and sugar beets. All of our land is irrigated by pivots.
PCN: What has been your experience with growing pulse crops?
TV: Beans is the first crop I started growing as a farmer and I found it to be the best crop to be able to compete with the other farmers in the area.
PCN: What percentage of your crop was made up of pulses last year?
TV: Fifty per cent of our crop is beans. It is the largest crop in our rotation every year and it greatly helps grow our farm.
PCN: What are you planning to grow this year?
TV: Our rotation stays the same most years so we will be growing beans again this year.
PCN: What tips or tricks have you learned growing pulses that you could share with new growers?
TV: I would say the biggest things with beans are water management to prevent mold, also utilizing hills at seeding to assist with mold control.
PCN: What advice would you share with producers thinking about growing pulses?
TV: It is a way of making very competitive financial returns with minimal amounts of input in comparison to other crops in our area.
PCN: What sparked your interest in APG?
TV: I know that as long as I am able to I will be growing beans, so the more I can help grow the market and get educated in all aspects then the stronger I feel this market will do. I think the next generation needs to step up and start taking positions on agricultural boards and committees to ensure that we are in a good position when we take over the farms. We also need to gain all the education we can get from our predecessors since they have done a good job growing our markets for us.
PCN: Is there an issue that is particularly important to you?
TV: I would like to continue research for bean varieties that will make for short growing seasons. In the last five years we have been struck twice with early frost in the fall which has greatly increased our dockage.
PCN: What was the biggest issue facing your farm last year?
TV: I don’t know if this is the largest issue, but we have recently had a large portion of land in our area purchased buy an investment company out of Ontario. These companies have made it that we cannot purchase any new land. They are offering dollar values that no farmer can compete with, then going out and renting to farmers out of our area which brings in more competition. If this continues to happen we will not be able to grow our farm which means I will be the last generation growing on our farm.
PCN: What has been the biggest benefit of your involvement with APG?
TV: Since I have just started, I haven’t seen the full benefits yet.
PCN: Why would you recommend that pulse producers get involved with APG?
TV: APG works hard through different programs to strengthen our industry. I am very excited to be a part of it and learn how I can help promote the industry.
Thank you, Tim. We are looking forward to benefiting from your contributions to the Board.