July 27, 2012
The American Pulse Association and the Pulse Health Initiative were discussed at length during the US Dry Bean Convention this summer. The APA was formed in 2010 by the US Dry Bean Council and the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council with a goal of getting funding for the Pulse Health Initiative. At the convention in California, US Dry Bean Council vice president Bill Thoreson said the Council’s board of directors agreed to support the APA through voluntary contributions by its member organizations. The APA will also expand and allow more members.
According to Thoreson, the $125 million contained in the Senate farm bill to fund the Pulse Health Initiative is the kind of resources the pulse industry has not seen, which is exciting. “The question is, can we get that money and is the farm bill going to pass?”
Dale Thorenson, with Gordley Associates in Washington, D.C., is a lobbyist for the Northarvest Bean Growers Association. He says the House farm bill contains neither the PHI nor the school lunch pulse pilot program, but it does have language within the large competitive grants reauthorization, called the Agricultural Food and Research Initiative, that places a priority on nutrients that USDA deems as a priority.