SPG Director Elections
Voting for SPG's Board of Directors election is now open.
Six candidates have been nominated for three positions on the Board of Directors with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, beginning in January 2021.
The six candidates include:
- Bruce Elke – Jansen, SK
- Norm Hall – Wynyard, SK
- Corey Loessin – Radisson, SK
- Ryan Neubauer – Saskatoon, SK
- Winston Van Staveren – Creelman, SK
- Terry Youzwa – Nipawin, SK
To learn more before casting your vote, listen to our special podcast of interviews with all six nominees by Neil Billinger.
Growers will receive a voter package that will include a six digit ID number, which is required for the electronic voting process. Voter packages will be mailed to registered pulse growers* in late October in a bright green envelope. Voting will open at 8:00 AM on October 19 at http://www.saskpulsevotes.com, remaining open until 4:30 PM on November 30. If growers prefer to vote with a paper ballot, the voter package will provide contact information to request a mail-in ballot.
- October 19, 2020 – Voting opens at 8:00 AM at http://www.saskpulsevotes.com
- November 30, 2020 – Voting closes at 4:30 PM
- January 12, 2021 – Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Annual General Meeting
*A registered pulse producer is someone who has sold a pulse crop and paid levy to Saskatchewan Pulse Growers at any time since September 1, 2017.
Our century family farm has grown peas, some lentils and a short experience with soybeans for the past 20+ years as part of our rotation with canola, wheat, barley and oats. Currently our family farm crops 4400 acres in the Jansen-LeRoy area.
I have been an active community member having served as Reeve of the RM of Prairie Rose for 17 years, past Board Chair of the Mid Sask Municipal Alliance and past President and member of the Jansen and District Kinsmen club. Currently I serve as board member of Zion Lutheran Church, Chair of the local Recreation Board and member of the Lanigan and District Waterpark committee.
I see the opportunity to learn more about the pulse industry as a new challenge for me to gain more insight into the policy end of the business. I do believe it is very important to reduce our reliance on China for our exports while finding other markets and uses domestically and abroad so that we ensure profitable prices for producers.
I am concerned with the trade tariffs and barriers we are seeing countries place on our products and how we can work for the reduction and elimination of these barriers. Some of which may be real but some that are polically motivated. I see the possibility of these increasing as countries seem to be leaning to more protectionist economies. The advantage we have is that we grow quality food products and people will always need to eat. Our job is to ensure we are looked to as a top supplier of those products.
Plant breeding and research will continue to be important in our efforts to be the supplier of choice. Therefore how we encourage this research will be critical to the pulse industry future.
I farm with my brother as the third-generation producer on our 120 year old farm in the Wynyard area. We grow wheat, dry peas, canola, flax, canary, oats and continue to try new crops such as soybeans and faba beans every few years to see if the economics and agronomics are there to add them into our rotation. Our farm has been growing pulses in the East Central part of our province for over 30 years.
The pulse rotation on our farm is generally 15 to 20% of our acres annually. With this investment we see the need for continued varietal and agronomic research, continuation of market research and support and the need to talk with government and industry to enhance and encourage the uses of pulses in processing and daily diets.
Over the years I have been active in the agricultural community representing producers views to ag companies, to governments and to the general public. Locally I have sat on the local Chambre of Commerce (President), Credit Union Board, Coop Board, Sask Wheat Pool Delegate, as well as Minor Hockey Coach, Wynyard Gymnastics Club Head Coach. Provincially, I have also been actively representing farmers on the Sask Chambre of Commerce Finance Committee, APAS Board (President), Ag Council of Saskatchewan Board (Chairman), Sask Wheat Development Commission (founding committee and interim board), the Chronic Wasting Disease Industry Committee (Ag representative) and Sask Farm Stewards Assoc. Nationally, there have been a number of chairs that I filled as well, including Canadian Federation of Agriculture Board (First Vice President), Crop Logistics Working Group, Grains Round Table, Canadian Ag Human Resource Council, Farm Management Canada Board, and the Commodity Supply Chain Table.
All of the above experience has shown me the need for a strong farmers’ voice made up of voices from the entire growing region of the province. I feel that I can make a strong positive contribution to the board of Sask Pulse as well as the growth of the pulse industry in our province and our country.
We have a moderate size family farm in NW Saskatchewan and have grown various grain crops for almost 30 years. Most of the land has a pulse crop every fourth year and we grow peas and red lentils, and have grown fababeans twice.
I hold a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the U of S, and worked as a District Agriculturist in Alberta for several years prior to returning to farm. I also taught and administered crop science courses for 12 winters at the U of S while farming. I have a strong interest in conservation farming systems and served on the Sask Soil Conservation Association board for a number of years.
I have been on the SPG board for two terms, and have served in many capacities including Research Chair and Board Chair. I have also served on the Pulse Canada board for 7 years, and currently I am Pulse Canada Board Chair.
I have been very involved in representing farmers interests with respect to Maximum Residue Limits including development of the annual Grower Advisory for Crop Protection and the Keeping it Clean campaign. Ensuring farmers have continued access to crop protection products, while maintaining market access for our production, has always been my goal. This is a challenging area, continues to evolve and its’ critical that farmers are involved and engaged.
My main priority is to ensure grower levy dollars are wisely invested in research and market development work that will increase the returns of pulse crops. I believe pulse crop inclusion in rotation is essential for success of our farming system and that continued research for existing crops and further development of potential new crops is needed
We have significant challenges with aphanomyces root rot in all growing areas of Saskatchewan. This is a very high priority for SPG. Development of solutions including resistant varieties, agronomic practices and other tools need ongoing support to enable many farmers to continue to grow peas and lentils.
It’s a great time to be involved in primary agriculture. I hope to contribute to further enhancement of pulse crops by continuing to serve on the SPG board
It is important that farmer's views are represented at every level of industry and government. I will continue to ensure the interests of farmers are forefront in all programs and activities SPG and Pulse Canada undertake.
There is considerable opportunity for pulses as the plant protein market expands in North America. Market development work can help facilitate this growth and ensure Saskatchewan grown pulses become a choice ingredient for food product developers. At the same time, export markets in large and growing countries are the destination for the vast majority of our production. Trade relationships are critical, and more must be done to ensure trade relations are rules based, fair and predictable for all involved.
Ryan Neubauer is actively involved in a small family farm near Wynyard, SK. They produce yellow, green and maple peas. Canola and barley are the other crop focuses. Ryan attended the University of Saskatchewan and achieved an undergraduate degree from the College of Agriculture. Ryan has worked within the Saskatchewan agriculture industry his entire career and is currently employed with Rayglen Commodities in Saskatoon, SK.
Winston van Staveren farms with his family at Creelman, Saskatchewan where they grow canola, wheat, durum, soybeans, and lentils.
Winston earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. After receiving his degree, he worked overseas in New Zealand on a mixed farm and returned home to Saskatchewan to farm full time.
Winston is on the board of directors for the Indian Head Agriculture Research Foundation (IHARF). For that organization, he is on the Crops and Marketing Committee. He is active in his community and serves as a director for the Creelman Agricultural Society. He is a director for the Fillmore Prairie Memories Museum and the Fillmore Catholic Church. Winston is also a volunteer crop reporter for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.
- India raising tariffs on Canadian peas and lentils is a concern for all Saskatchewan farmers.
- Aphanomyces root rot in Peas and Lentils is a devastating disease that forces some farmers to eliminate peas and lentils from their crop rotations
- Need to identify and manage the new “mystery disease” severely affecting chickpeas in Southern Saskatchewan.
- We need to push for effective crop breeding that deals with the current issues at hand such as new diseases, particularly Aphanomyces.
- Develop varieties that can maintain their crop stand and quality during wet harvest seasons which have been common in previous years.
- Public education to raise awareness about the health benefits of Pulses.
Winston is optimistic about the pulse industry in Saskatchewan and intends to be a strong voice for the interests of our hard-working pulse farmers.
My objective is to positively contribute to the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers ongoing success. I started renting land in northeast Saskatchewan at Nipawin, while farming with my Dad, in 1979. I graduated from the U of S with a degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1982. I was a pedigreed seed grower for 25 years and have held various active and passive interests in cattle and hogs. Today our family operation is focused on the production and marketing of canola, wheat, oats, peas, faba beans and canary seed. My son Zak is a full partner in our family farm operation and we grow a wide variety of crops in our quest for a sustainable future. Pulse crops are an important part of our crop plan. Aphonomyces has been putting pea and lentil acres at risk and this issue certainly needs some timely solutions to help manage this risk. As we are no longer seed growers and have no livestock interests at home now, we are able to travel more and spend some time pursuing other interests in an effort to contribute back to what has provided for us.
It was my privilege to represent farmers as a Director of United Grain Growers and Agricore United for many years including being a vice-chairman and chairing the Audit Committee of this TSX 300 company. This experience provided the opportunity to serve on boards such as the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and the Flax Council of Canada as well as serve on various provincial and federal advisory committees. During this time I also obtained a Chartered Director designation and I continue to strive to practice good governance and stewardship in my public and personal matters.
From 2009-2017 I served as a Director and Chair of SaskCanola and Director and Chair of the Canola Council of Canada. In 2017 and 2018 I served as a Director with Cereals Canada. I have contributed to my local community by being a past Director and Chair of the Nipawin Community Justice Committee, an alternative measures program, and serving municipally as a councillor of the Resort Village of Tobin Lake. I married Sandee a registered nurse in 1985 and we have 3 children Zak, Sasha and Jesalyn.
As protein demand grows the pulse industry has the opportunity to grow if it can nurture market development and manage production risks like aphonomyces. Faba beans certainly have a lot of potential to be positioned for significant growth. I urge you to take an active interest in who represents you in this organization and exercise your right to vote. My intent is to practice good governance and stewardship while positively advocating on behalf of pulse growers. I humbly ask for your support.