Investment Agriculture Foundation AGM held in Abbotsford

IAF will continue to support industry and invest in the future of B.C. agriculture in 2014 and beyond.

The Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. (IAF) held its annual general meeting in Abbotsford last week to present its contributions for 2012 to the British Columbia agriculture and agri-food industry.

For IAF chair, Peter Levelton, the meeting was significant as it marked his sixth and final year as an IAF director. Reflecting on the relationships forged during his tenure, Levelton credited his peers for his most memorable experiences.

“I have met countless dedicated people in agriculture during the past six years.” Levelton said. “It is their input and perspective that help the industry grow, and I believe our continuing partnership with these agricultural leaders will not only help our industry survive, but continue to prosper.”

IAF’s successful collaboration with industry was further illustrated during an overview of project impacts within the crop, livestock and pan-agricultural sectors. As numerous client testimonials demonstrated, IAF contributions coupled with industry leadership have yielded benefits across all sectors and throughout all regions of B.C.

The Foundation’s broadening program delivery role was also a subject of discussion, as with the $1.5 million BC Government’s Buy Local Program. While Levelton touched on the end of federal adaption funding, he emphasized that IAF will continue to support industry and invest in the future of B.C. agriculture in 2014 and beyond.

The theme of partnership and prosperity was further reinforced during the financial report. Treasurer, Jim Tingle reported that IAF paid out nearly $9.75 million toward industry-led projects and initiatives in 2012, before Executive Director, Peter Donkers wrapped up the meeting with a look at IAF’s priorities for 2013.

Following the AGM, five new directors were welcomed onto the IAF board. Len Bouwman (Chilliwack/dairy), Alistair Johnston (Abbtsford/post farm gate), Jack DeWit (Langley/other Livestock), and returning IAF directors Bert Miles (Vernon/Greenhouse, Floriculture and Nursery) and Bar Hayre (Abbotsford/farm supply) were appointed.

Along with departing chair Levelton, a fond farewell was also bid to vice-chair, Gay Hahn, and directors Chris Byra, Debbie Aarts and Jens Larsen after six years of service, the maximum allowed by IAF policy.

Continuing IAF directors are Ken Bates (Lower Mainland/field vegetable, berry and mushrooms), secretary, Paula Brown (Lower Mainland/emerging sectors), Irmi Critcher (Peace River/grain, oilseed and forage), Rick Gagner (Lower Mainland/post farm gate), Dale Krahn (Fraser Valley/poultry) and Ernie Willis (Okanagan-Similkameen/cattle). Directors re-appointed for a further two-year term are Rob Dawson (Okanagan-Similkameen/tree fruit and grapes) and treasurer, Jim Tingle (Fraser-Fort George, community agriculture).

Also sitting on the board are non-voting liaisons Philip Bergen and Rodney Dlugos (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), as well as Grant Parnell (BC Ministry of Agriculture).

The Investment Agriculture Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that manages and distributes federal and provincial funds in support of innovative projects to benefit the agriculture and food industries in British Columbia.