Greeting Members from Gary Fiskop
January 11, 2005
What a busy year 2004 was. Your board of directors faced many different issues this year.
We hit the road with our Whos Laughing Now? campaign, getting our message out with stops in Boston, Sacramento, Minneapolis and Chicago. So far, this campaign has been a huge success.
We also helped reorganize the U.S. Dry Bean Council board of directors, giving every organizations board member a vote proportional to their dry bean production level. The USDBC represents growers and shippers of U.S. edible dry beans. It works closely with both U.S. exporting and foreign importing trade companies to promote areas of mutual interest in the use, consumption and marketing of edible dry beans worldwide.
We also teamed up with the North Central Bean Dealers Association to enhance our dry bean position within the U.S. export and domestic food assistance programs.
We continue to work on chemical harmonization with Canada. This involves having the same crop protection products labeled in Canada as in the U.S. and vice-versa, and having the same residue tolerances for these products in dry beans.
The issue was highlighted earlier this year when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration blocked import of some Canadian dry beans because tests showed that they contained more Ronilan residue than allowed by law. The fungicide is labeled in Canada, but not in the U.S. on dry beans.
Our research programs are going well. Most are on-going projects involving new varieties, disease and white mold control and fertilization. We started a new study on selenium, a chemical found in the soil, which if taken in by beans and consumed may help reduce symptoms of HIV.
Finally, we are re-districting Minnesota and North Dakota, bringing new board members in, due to an increase in dry bean acres in areas that were not raising many beans when our organization was formed. I encourage anyone interested in being a board member to run. Believe me, the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice and the time involved.
It is my sincere hope that you find value in what we have and are trying to accomplish. We will continue to work together to better the edible bean industry.
The Northarvest Bean Growers Association is an association of growers representing growers through the check-off system. We are North Americas largest supplier of quality dry beans.
We work together to better the industry through promotion, research, market development, education of consumers and monitoring of governmental policy. Our future goals must be continued market exposure and careful monitoring of new ideas, consumer choices, and producer needs.