I had stopped by the Alberta pulse booth in the past but felt I didn't have the time or knowledge to be involved with an Ag commission. I think many farmers feel the same way and this is what holds them back. The fact of the matter is you do have to commit a certain amount of time but it's basically your decision how much. The more you give the more you'll get out of it stands very true on any Ag group but there is no pressure. As far as not having the knowledge to contribute, if your willing to listen, discuss and share your opinion you will do well on a board. Your life experiences are some of your most useful knowledge not what you learned in school or post secondary.
Then at the farm show in Red Deer in November 2015 I made a point of stopping by the Pulse booth because I knew Sarah Hoffman from my area had stepped down and the position of director at large was opening up. It just so happened that Allison Ammeter was helping out at the booth that day and I was able to talk to her about APG and what it's like to be on the board. After this discussion and taking some time to think about it I knew I wanted to put my name forward for election at the AGM at Farm-Tech.
This past January in Edmonton at Farm Tech I attended the Alberta Pulse AGM and got in front of a crowd of about 250 fellow pulse growers and explained to them why I wanted to be a director. I told my story of growing peas and also talked about growing soybeans for the first time. I was very nervous having never spoke in front of that many people before so it was a bit of a blur. I was happy to find out afterwards that I had been elected on as a director and was really looking forward to the year ahead.
|2016 Alberta Pulse Board at Farm Tech in Edmonton|
|Pulse day on the hill with Canada pulse|
I am up for election again this January at the AGM as I only have a 1 year term as director at large. I will put my name forward again and hopefully I will stay on and again get this chance to learn and contribute. The last few months have been a great opportunity to meet many interesting people from our Ag community and I have enjoyed the chance to learn from them. All of us in agriculture have many battles ahead and these growers groups will be there working along side us to help with all the agronomic and social issues. My hope for all farmers out there is that you take the time to get involved in one of the growers groups. They do great work on our behalf and once you get an inside look you will better understand how much goes on behind the scenes to help farmers. So get involved if you have the chance, you'll be amazed at how much you can contribute and the friendships and knowledge you gain in return.