There were some special foreign visitors at a farm in the Rainy Creek area.
A recent tour hosted by the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission highlighting pulse crops was attended by a Chinese delegation of 10, including four researchers, as well as about 40 other central Alberta farmers.
The group met at the Grace Lutheran Church west of Bentley and was escorted around to see faba bean crops in the area surrounding the church.
Some staff from the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission gave informative talks, and discussions and a barbecue followed in the church basement after the field tour. The Chinese also wanted to see a real Canadian farm and were invited to the farm of Harvey Brink and family where they saw the Brink setup.
“They really enjoyed the tour of feedlot, farm machinery, grain bins and house area. They asked many questions and were fascinated at how big everything in Canada was,” stated Coby Brink, Harvey’s wife.
The Chinese delegation included four research scientists from the Department of Agriculture in China (two men and two women), one of whom was also the translator and has been in contact with scientists at the Lacombe Research Station.
The Chinese are researching how to make faba beans/pulses a viable crop for farmers in their own country. They are working hard to make farming sustainable and have a mandate to feed their own people. Harvey Brink has been asked to speak at the commission’s general meeting in Three Hills in November about his experience growing, harvesting and marketing his faba beans.
The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission represents 4,700 growers of dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
Their vision is to have Alberta pulses recognized by consumers as environmentally friendly, healthy, nutritious, and recognized by all producers as being an essential element in a sustainable cropping system, noted Jennifer Blair, the communications co-ordinator for the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission.