Executive Director’s Message (PCN Spring 2015) MAR 25 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director
Meeting season is wrapping up and we are well into planning for the new crop year. For Alberta Pulse Growers, there are only a few key meetings left, then we will be walking the fields and happy to be outside in the warm temperatures working with our farmer members.
In January, the organization’s Annual General Meeting was held during FarmTech. It is a review of last year’s activities and a look forward into this year’s anticipated work. It also provides the opportunity for the membership to bring forward any issues for discussion. This year, there was good discussion that created opportunities to work on some issues that were important to the members who were present. The board will be investigating the resolutions that were carried and update the membership through Pulse Crop News on our activities.
It was also a great pleasure to meet Lud Prudek, and celebrate him as APG’s first Pulse Industry Innovator Award winner. An industry builder and a past chair of the organization, Prudek took the stage to accept his award with great grace and spoke like he had never retired from the industry.
Sustainability, food and health were key points provided by Prudek as important for the future of pulses. These messages resonated as they are all messages that APG communicates today. It just demonstrates his passion and interest in the industry that even now as a retiree, Prudek continues to inspire and is a deserving selection for the first recipient. APG will be accepting nominations from now through to October 31, 2015 for the next recipient of the Pulse Industry Innovator Award. Nomination information can be found at http://pulse.ab.ca/news/article/pulseindustry-innovator-award1.
Have you visited www.pulsepod.ca yet? The POD (Pulse Online Database) was launched during FarmTech 2015, and APG is excited to get this electronic pulse database into the hands of growers. Read more on page 17.
APG is planning significant activities this spring which include collaboration and participation with other Alberta broad acre crop commissions on two projects. Sustainability is a concept that is being taken seriously by many companies that are well recognized in the world. McDonald’s, Unilever, Nestle and many more are looking to make their operations more sustainable. This may mean that they will also be looking to see the sustainability practices of their suppliers.
Pulse growers are participating with canola, barley and wheat representatives to learn more about on-farm sustainability programs. This learning objective is to better understand how different sustainability schemes could be applied to working farms. The experiences of our grower volunteers will help others to better understand how they may benefit from getting ranked on their own sustainability metrics, and may identify areas of improvements that can be easily undertaken. Having a sustainability program on the farm may benefit growers as they link further into the value chain.
The other activity that crop commissions are embarking on is a visit to Ottawa to see federal government representatives and share an Alberta broad acre perspective with them prior to the expected election. There are several items that can be addressed with federal government representatives, including changes to the Canada Grains Act, input into market access opportunities like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the recently approved Canada Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Canada European Trade Agreement, transportation updates and finally an important issue to all of agriculture, a discussion about public research capacity and funding. These are all critical topics to our collective grower organizations. The program coordination is being assisted by staff from Grain Growers of Canada.
In addition, we are continuing to work with our provincial pulse grower organizations and the pulse trade to prepare for the International Year of Pulses. The international organization, Global Pulse Confederation (formerly CICILS IPTIC) will be meeting in North America in April and Alberta pulse grower representatives will be heading to the international meetings to get a better sense of the size of the global pulse trade and the demand in various corners of the world for our crops. Canada is an important global exporter of pulse crops and it will be a good opportunity to have growers better understand how we fit into feeding the world with our products. APG representatives will also be attending concurrent sessions on the global preparations for celebrating the International Year of Pulses in 2016.
It continues to be a busy spring for the staff and board at APG, and we look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions. See you in the fields!