The Pacific Northwest Canola Association has announced the farmer members that will join its board of directors.
The farmers on the board are:
• Tim Dillin of Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
• Dale Flikkema of Belgrade, Mont.
• Ray Mosman of Nezperce, Idaho.
• Don Nagy of Sunburst, Mont.
• Randy Perkins of Athena, Ore.
• Douglas Poole of Mansfield, Wash.
• Anna Scharf of Amity, Ore.
• Dennis Swinger Jr. of Lind, Wash.
• Jon Walters of Walla Walla, Wash.
• Kyle Wasson of Whitewater, Mont.
The farmers represent a range of farm sizes and farming methods, said Karen Sowers, Washington State University Extension and outreach specialist in oilseeds and a coordinator for the Association.
Sowers hopes the association will prove to be “the glue” that brings canola industry groups together to address legislative matters and research needs.
Swinger has raised canola off and on since the early 1980s. He currently raises 250 to 260 acres of canola for seed.
He hopes the association advocates for farmers, giving them a larger presence on the canola market and access to more research.
“There’s tons of great research and material from Canada, but nothing that’s really pointed for our area,” he said.
Wasson’s father began raising canola in crop rotation. He’s been raising the crop himself since starting to farm on his own in 2005.
He said he hopes the association will provide updates to farmers about new varieties and techniques, and show customers what they can do with canola and its byproducts, such as cattle feed and biofuels.
“There’s endless possibilities, and canola is kind of an untapped market,” Wasson said. “There’s not a lot out there besides the universities doing their research.”
The next steps for the association include electing officers, appointing an executive director, seeking industry members for the board of directors according to funding level and securing funding from industry and grower memberships.