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APG’s first vice-president Craig Shaw honoured with 2021 Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award JAN 27 2021 | Producers | News Release

The Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) selected the organization’s first vice-president, Craig Shaw, as the winner of the seventh annual Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award.

“Craig Shaw was an early adopter of new pulse growing practices and technology in the early days of the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission,” said APG Chair Don Shepert. “He also put a tremendous effort into sharing what he learned with other growers, even going so far as to hold an annual farm tour to help other farmers successfully grow these new crops. Craig had a great impact in growing the industry in many different ways.”

Each year, APG recognizes a person or organization whose progressive thinking and tireless efforts helped build Alberta’s pulse industry into the flourishing sector that it is today. Shaw was pleased to learn he had been selected to receive the 2021 Innovator Award and shared the honour with his peers.

“I was pleasantly surprised for the award as my pulse commission days were well before the current board,” he said. “I consider this more as an award for all those who were part of the pulse association before the pulse commission. When I look back now, I can’t believe our commitment betting on a basically new industry. The collaboration between a number of producers and some good industry support people meant we were able to tackle endless challenges. Our goal was to provide some cropping options and gain a presence in the protein industry. When we look at the current industry, our group is proud of our contribution to achieve those goals and get where we are today.”

Shaw had a great impact on the growth of Alberta’s pulse industry in many areas, and particularly as a champion of research and extension of pulse production knowledge and practices.

He is a fourth generation Lacombe-area producer who retired from farming in 2016. He was the inaugural vice-president of the newly formed Alberta Pulse Growers Commission in 1989 and became APG’s president in 1990. Since planting his first pea crop in 1984 to feed his brother’s hogs, his belief in pulses as an essential part of crop rotation continued to grow. Shaw is well-known for being an early adopter of new practices and technologies who helped grow Alberta’s pulse industry by sharing his experiences with other farmers.

The goals of the Shaw farm were to continually find new answers to address issues affecting the farming operation and Shaw implemented many concepts in precision farming. He conducted a yearly summer farm tour to share new ideas and concepts with fellow producers. He worked closely with the Ag Canada research station in Lacombe in testing new concepts on the farm. He has also been active in many farm organizations including the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund board.

In addition, Shaw was an active member of the FarmTech planning committee, starting back when FarmTech was new. He was instrumental in getting the annual event rolling and was recognized for his efforts when he was presented with the 2016 FarmTech Award.

Alberta Pulse Growers celebrated its 25th year as a commission by launching the Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award and presenting the organization’s founding president, Lud Prudek, with the first annual award in 2015. Since that time, the award has been presented to acclaimed pulse researcher Ken Lopetinsky, life-long pulse supporter Blair Roth, Dr. Hans-Henning Muendel who developed numerous bean cultivars, Kirsty Ross (Piquette) who was instrumental in building the field pea industry in northeastern Alberta, and Mark Olson who explored new pulse varieties and production methods in many roles including as Alberta Agriculture’s Unit Head for Pulse Crops.

The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission represents 6,500 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. Our vision is to have Alberta pulses on every farm, on every plate.

For more information, please contact:
Rachel Peterson, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 780-986-9398 ext. 108