By Kenneth Brown
of The Crossroads
Three directors including Kyle-area producer Shaun Dyrland have been named to the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) board after nominations closed last month.
No election was necessary after the nomination period closed in the middle of September. Dyrland will be a newcomer to the SPG board when his term starts in January and he was elected alongside Dalmeny’s Chad Doerksen, another newcomer, and returning director Trent Richards of Assiniboia.
According to a release on Oct. 1, SPG had advertised for two vacancies on its board and the organization received three nominations for those positions. However, existing board member Jean Harrington announced that she would be stepping down come January.
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Harrington cited time constraints for her resignation. With three spots to be filled, the three initial nominees all ended up getting a spot on the SPG board. Each of the nominees was elected to the board by acclamation.
Richards, whose term was ending in January, and the two new directors will be appointed to the seven-member board in an official capacity on Jan. 14 at SPG’s annual general meeting at TCU Place during CropSphere 2019. The board is pleased with the result.
“We look forward to welcoming our two new directors, (Doerksen and Dyrland), to the board table where they will work collaboratively in guiding SPG’s strategic direction,” noted Corey Loessin, chairperson of the SPG board, in a statement within the SPG press release. “We are also pleased to have (Richards) return for a second term. He will bring important experience and depth to the board.”
Dyrland, who operates a 15,000-acre family farm near Kyle with his father and brother, grows pulse crops in addition to canola and durum. Lentils, peas and chickpeas account for 50 per cent of the Dyrland’s crop rotation.
The incoming director from Kyle said he has been actively farming for 20 years and running for a position on the SPG board is something he has been considering for a while, so it is an exciting time for him to know he will be filling the seat come January.
“I was pretty excited,” he said about learning he had been named to the board, recognizing that it is nice to be elected by acclamation because he will not have to compete for a seat in an election. “It was kind of a nice surprise.”
He noted that he believes serving on the SPG board is a task and responsibility he is going to enjoy. Dyrland said the board does a lot of good things for the industry and it is why he was interested to let his name stand. In his eyes, he said the organization adds a lot of value to the industry and the province’s producers.
Dyrland said he believes it is important to have the organization working on behalf of pulse growers. He said he has an interest to see new markets developed for lentils, peas and for other pulse crops in general.
The industry is facing challenges to market pulse crops around the globe, so he said he does not believe the industry is able to rely on traditional pulse markets and new markets will have to be developed. He referred to the challenge of marketing pulse crops in India due to the country’s tariffs. Dyrland said the national election for India in 2019 could result in changes to tariffs, it might be foolish to rely on volatile markets in the future.
He noted that Saskatchewan is a large exporter of pulse crops and producers rely on pulses as an important part of crop rotations on their farms. Dyrland said he hopes to give 100 per cent while serving pulse producers in the province.
“I look forward to it and hope to do the best that I can for the rest of the Saskatchewan growers,” he added, recognizing that the organization is also important for helping to market and develop new products.
There will be three other directors on the SPG board in addition to Dyrland, Loessin, Richards and Doerksen. The other three directors will be Lee Moats of Riceton, Jackie Carleton of Saskatoon and Brad Blackwell of Dinsmore. Blackwell, who joined the board in 2017, said it has been a learning experience.
The Dinsmore-area producer said there has been a lot to learn on both sides of the industry with respect to dealing with export markets and pulse production at home. He said the pulse industry is huge for Saskatchewan.
He noted that he used to be a board member for West Central Road & Rail before the locally-owned grain handler was acquired by AGT Food and Ingredients. Blackwell said he wanted to get involved in something after his children were older, so he decided to run for the SPG board. It is nice to have new board members, he said.
“Both new guys are younger and active in the farm, so I think that’s important to have,” Blackwell added, recognizing that he believes it is important for the directors to be active on the farm and he looks forward to working with the newcomers.