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Executive Director’s Message (PCN Spring 2016) MAR 29 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines connect as “to have or establish a rapport” and collaborate as “to work jointly with others especially in an intellectual endeavour.” Connecting and collaborating are two key intentions for the Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) as we start into 2016.

It all started in January with the launch of International Year of Pulses and connecting to the influencers in the media who helped spread the message of pulses to the masses. From one event in Canada, to across the globe, Pulse Feast was celebrated in countries around the world and social media was a buzz with photos, recipes and great messages about the crops that our farmers grow.

From Pulse Feast we moved into FarmTech: a sell-out success with strong messaging encouraging farmers to tell their story and experts sharing their knowledge with our growers. As one of the five host organizations, APG, like the other hosts, is proud to put on a conference where learning, networking and sharing are priorities for the industry.

APG also connected to our producer community through our well-attended Annual General Meeting on Jan. 27, during which we celebrated and honoured the contributions of Ken Lopetinsky over his career with the pulse industry. We also shared with our membership our accomplishments this past year and discussed our activities for the 2015-16 year.

Connecting continues as we move into spring. APG is partnering with both Pulse Canada, in March, and Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Alberta Barley Commission (ABC) and Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC), in April, to link directly with Members of Parliament and the senior bureaucracy in Ottawa.

A key objective from APG’s perspective is to put the voice of farmers in front of the decision makers and share our story on critical issues in our industry. Our farmer presence on the ‘Hill’ will help us elevate agriculture into the minds of the new federal leadership and bring to light the needs of our industry.

Collaboration is also key for APG as we progress into 2016. In an unprecedented fashion, the agriculture industry has come together to form the AgCoalition. The AgCoalition, otherwise known as Alberta Agriculture Farm and Ranch Safety Coalition, was brought together in January to form a unified voice for the agriculture industry in Alberta to inform and engage primarily on farm safety and is a primary producer-led group. APG is pleased to support our industry and participate in this multi-sectoral farm and ranch effort.

APG also worked together with ABC, AWC and ACPC on offering Farm Safety Workshops in three locations across Alberta in early March. In Grande Prairie, Red Deer and Lethbridge, the workshops were very successful and, for our commission, this reaffirms our support to educate and extend information to our membership about safety.

Carrying on working with Wheat, Barley and Canola, APG is also picking-up discussions about climate change and preparing for how that will impact the cropping sector. By collaborating together, our organizations will build a strong case for our industry and the effects that government climate change policies will have on our future.

Collaboration continues with pulse grower organizations across Canada as APG is working toward more informed linkages with research activities. This may include pesticide minor use research gaps, streamlining research on cross border faba bean opportunities or even supporting additional health research activities to enhance national knowledge gaps. Our working relationships with these organizations continues to be strong, cooperative and progressive.

I am looking forward to the challenges and the opportunities of connecting and collaborating to ensure that our industry is positioned as a leader that is working for our membership. Enjoy this edition of Pulse Crop News!