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Cereals Canada Welcomes New President

Congratulations to Cam Dahl, named yesterday as president of Cereals Canada and the first person to hold the position in the organization. Starting March 3, Cam will bring his vast experience in the agriculture sector, his ability to build consensus among stakeholders and his record of effective leadership to the recently formed national organization of partners from all sectors of the cereals value chain.

Read the release from Cereals Canada

Well-known ag industry professional selected to lead organization going forward Winnipeg, February 5, 2014 - Today, Cereals Canada announced the appointment of Cam Dahl as the organization's first President.



With a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba Dahl brings diverse agriculture industry experience to his new role. Prior to joining Cereals Canada, he served as General Manager of the Manitoba Beef Producers, Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission, Chair of the Canadian International Grains Institute Board of Directors, and Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada. He also worked on Parliament Hill. As President, Dahl will have oversight of the strategic direction, development and management of Cereals Canada operations.



"We are pleased to have a seasoned agriculture industry professional take the leadership position at Cereals Canada," offers Greg Porozni, an Alberta wheat producer and Cereals Canada Chair. "Cam is a strong leader, and his broad experience in agriculture and policy is a good fit for what Cereals Canada represents and what it has been established to do."



With collaboration a key priority for Cereals Canada, Dahl's knowledge of how government works from the inside, combined with a solid understanding of how to best communicate the needs of industry, will serve this new and growing organization well.



"We may be a relatively new entity but we have set high expectations and we have a lot of work to do to demonstrate value. We needed a strong individual who could rise to that challenge," adds Porozni. "Cam understands the importance of building relationships and trust, and he knows how important collaboration is to enable all sectors of the industry to advance together."



Dahl is excited for the opportunity to be a part of building something he says is really needed in this industry and in Canada - a collaborative, driving force that represents and serves the cereals value chain both domestically and internationally. In a planning session slated for March 2014, the Cereals Canada Board of Directors, with the support of their new President, will be setting the strategic direction for the organization going forward.



"The Board of Directors has created strong momentum early on," adds Dahl. "I look forward to building on that energy in the coming months, supporting and contributing to the strategic planning process, as well as reaching out and demonstrating our value to the industry at large."



Dahl starts his new role with Cereals Canada on March 3, 2014.

Farming 4R Future - Enter To Win An iPad!

Farming 4R Future is giving away an iPad to producers who complete a short exercise and run a scenario to demonstrate the measurable benefits of applying 4R Nutrient Stewardship on a field.


If you would like to take part and enter to win, you can do so here.

American Pulse Association

Tim McGreevy of the American Pulse Association and I met last week to begin working on the fundraising and finance plans for CICILS contribution to the International Year of Pulses. Tim and his team were amazing hosts at their offices located right on the border of Washington and Idaho States.

The resulting plan will focus on key international players in the pulse sector from inputs through food ingredients to find unique ways they can support the activities during the International Year. Should you have ideas for the year or be interested in lending your support, please let me know.

Tim&Robin
Tim&Robin

Gates Foundation to Support Agriculture Innovation Forum

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been confirmed as Global Development Partner for the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA). The event, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 3-5 February 2014 under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, will be the world’s largest showcase of innovations in sustainable agriculture.



As Global Development Partner, the Gates Foundation is advising GFIA on agricultural development projects around the world and is helping identify key NGOs, particularly those with a focus on Africa, that can contribute to GFIA’s programme. The Gates Foundation will also provide expert counsel on how innovations can be applied practically to support developing regions of the world.



Read the full article here.

Joan Anderson

It was an honour to see the Winnipeg Free Press honour my Mother this weekend. In their article, "Lasting legacies: Prominent Manitobans who died in 2013" they noted her extraordinary service as a volunteer. She was an amazing woman.

Read the full article here.

United Nations Proclaims 2016 as “International Year of Pulses”

I am very excited to hear 2016 has been declared 'Year of the Pulses'. Here is the press release from the International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation (IPTIC):


Issued by International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation, Head Office DUBAI, UAE December 20, 2013


Pulses – the healthiest grain foods in the world - have captured the attention of the United Nations. Today, the General Assembly of the UN voted to declare 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses.”


“This is an extraordinary day for the global pulse industry” declared Hakan Bahceci, President of the global pulses peak body, CICILS IPTIC. “Beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas have been the cornerstone of global nutrition for centuries. Having a UN dedicated year will raise the level of awareness of pulses and the important role they can play in health and nutrition, food security and environmental sustainability."


Beyond traditional markets, pulses have steadily increased in popularity as people around the world recognize their appeal as nutritious, versatile foods that are essential to healthy diets.


The idea of a year dedicated to recognizing the role of pulses in sustainable agriculture and healthy diets was conceived by Hakan Bahceci over two years ago, when CICILS IPTIC commenced work to raise awareness within the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) of the importance of pulses in these areas. Through the determined support of the several countries, in particular Turkey and Pakistan, and the support of the governments of all major producing and consuming countries world wide, the International Year of Pulses was today passed by the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.


"This is the greatest opportunity in a century to give pulses the attention they deserve. Pulses can help to increase food security for those with shortages and to tackle the increase of diseases linked to lifestyles such as obesity and diabetes. Plus, they improve cropping systems and are good for farmers," said Hakan. "The International Year of Pulses will give pulses additional research attention and nutritional programming, which will lead to dietary uptake. Increased pulse consumption will grow both healthy people and a healthy planet. We deeply appreciate the United Nation's dedication to the task."


CICILS IPTIC has set aside $1.1 million as a preliminary reserve to fund activities related to the Year. A series of national committees are being established around the world by CICILS members to work with their governments, farmers, NGOs, retailers, food manufacturers, health & science organizations and UN bodies to make the year a success globally and in each country.


“With rates of diabetes and obesity on the rise around the world, the International Year of Pulses presents an opportunity to recognize pulses for their exceptional potential to offer nutritional well being to people everywhere,” said Hakan. “2016 will also be an important occasion to learn about the world’s wonderful pulse culinary traditions, and to discover new ways to create healthier foods in the future.”


Contact for further information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Executive Director International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation.

Climate Science and GM Science: Both are Needed

There is an excellent article in the Economist that hones in on the irony of the way in which people invoke science in today's policy setting. The need to use modern scientific information to understand climate change and take action to adapt to its impacts, particularly in agriculture, and to mitigate it is obvious.


In the case of GM, some of the same people who invoke science on the climate change topic choose to ignore the outcomes of the vast majority of research regarding the need for and safety of GM. "In the field of climate change, environmentalists insist that the scientific consensus should frame policy. They should follow that principle with GM crops, and abandon a campaign that impoverishes people and the rest of the planet," says the Economist.


Read the full article here.

Increased Productivity Now the Primary Source of Growth in World Agriculture

The average annual rate of global agricultural growth slowed in the 1970s and 1980s but then accelerated in the 1990s and 2000s. In the decades prior to 1990, most output growth came about from intensification of input use (i.e., using more labor, capital, and material inputs per acre of agricultural land). Bringing new land into agriculture production and extending irrigation to existing agricultural land were also important sources of growth.



Over the last two decades, however, the rate of growth in agricultural resources (land, labor, capital, etc.) slowed. In 2001-10, improvements in productivity—getting more output from existing resources—accounted for more than three-quarters of the total growth in global agricultural output, reflecting the use of new technology and changes in management by agricultural producers around the world.



Astronaut Chris Hadfield Speaks at GrowCanada Conference 2013

It was a thrill to listen to Chris Hadfield at GrowCanada. The astronaut is a global hero who has traveled to space three times. He cited an astronaut mantra "There is no problem so big that you can't make it worse." Careful preparation to run scenarios and do realistic simulations is the foundation of addressing this. Decades of preparation are invested in learning how not to make problems worse. As a result, the teams fly prepared and ready for challenges. For Hadfield, it is a way of life: "I prefer to be calm and optimistic to terrified and concerned."

Climate Change & Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation Announces Funding to Help Alberta Farmers Reduce GHG Emissions & Generate Offset Credits

Clyde Graham, CFI, Susan Wood-Bohm, CCEMC, and Doug Cornell, Alberta Wheat announce phase II of project to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Clyde Graham, CFI, Susan Wood-Bohm, CCEMC, and Doug Cornell, Alberta Wheat announce phase II of project to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It was my pleasure to be at the Grain Growers of Canada meeting this morning when the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation announced it is providing $252,500 to support the second phase of a project led by the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) called Farming 4R Land. The project will help Alberta farmers improve yields, reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to fertilizer use and generate offset credits. This project is funded through the Biological Greenhouse Gas Management Program that is delivered on behalf of the CCEMC by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions.

 

Farming 4R Land Phase II supports implementation of Alberta’s Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol (NERP), which enables farmers to qualify for carbon offsets within the Alberta offset protocol system. The project encourages broader adoption of CFI best management practices called 4RNutrient Stewardship - using the Right source, at the Right rate, at the Right time, and in the Right place®. In the process, farmers will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and with appropriate documentation, may generate offset credits as well. “Generally, if a farmer improves their best management practices when it comes to fertilizer use, our very conservative estimate is they can reduce their N2O (nitrous oxide) emissions by 15 to 25 percent,” said CFI Vice President of Strategy and Alliances, Clyde Graham. The project aims to have enough acreage qualified under Alberta’s Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol to support offset transactions equal to 25,000 tonnes CO2e by the end of 2014.