Three National Bean Groups Now One
March 29, 2006
Its really exciting. Everyone made compromises, but everyone walked away a winner. The dry bean industry will now speak with one voice, says Kevin Anderson, an East Grand Forks, Minn., grower, and president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
The new organization was about a year in the making, says Randy Duckworth, executive director of the old USDBC, who will serve as executive director of the new USBC. This is a huge development in our industry.
In the past, the three groups have all worked separately, with the USDBC focusing on exports, the ADBB working on domestic promotions, and the BHA concentrating on research and the nutritional value of beans.
The new organization will combine all of those functions under one roof. Those seeking information often didnt know which organization to turn to with questions related to dry beans. Just in terms of clarity, having one go-to organization to contact will be helpful, says Duckworth. Our marketing efforts and research efforts will all tie in to each other and hopefully lead to greater consumption.
A major goal is to boost domestic promotions and get people eating more dry beans. Our biggest market is the United States, he says. About 75% of our product is consumed right here.
The new U.S. Bean Council will be supported by six grower checkoff organizations, seven dealer groups and two corporate members: Bush Brothers & Co. and ADM Edible Bean Specialties. The new organization will also add a new associate member classification so smaller bean companies and equipment dealers can join.
Cindy Brown, Menomonie, Wis., is the consolidated organizations president. Steve Brown of Holyoke, Colo., was elected vice president and Doug Carlquist of Eden, Idaho, was elected secretary-treasurer. Mark Myrdal, Edinburg, N.D., serves on the national boards Executive Committee; Mike Beltz, Hillsboro, N.D., Government Affairs Committee; Mark Streed, Milan, Minn., International Programs Committee; and Alan Juliuson, Hope, N.D., on the U.S. Bean Councils Health Promotion Committee.
The USBC office will be headquartered in the State of Washington (Grapeview, west of Tacoma) with a liaison office in Washington, DC.
Includes contributing information from Capital Press Agriculture Weekly, a PNW farm publication.