WPGA 2020 Virtual Growers Meeting

2020 WPGA Virtual Annual Meeting Recap

One of the virtues of using a virtual platform for delivery is the opportunity to streamline content delivery, but one of the downsides is the lack of face-to-face networking opportunities.  It’s a trade-off that members of the pulse industry are getting accustomed to in the days of COVID-19 precautions, although very few growers and trade members enjoy the isolation. 

The latest of the pulse industry virtual meetings held on Wedn., Dec. 9th, the 2020 Western Pulse Growers Association (WPGA) was an attempt to produce a shortened grower’s meeting in time but packed with information. It offered up crop production reports, regional harvest quality reports, an update on domestic and international markets, Idaho and Washington pulse commission reports, a DC and policy report by Tom Hance of Gordley Associates, and a special debut of the third in a market series called the “World Pulse on Pulses Outlook.”

While previous episodes examined dry peas and lentils, episode 3 of the series offered a deep dive into the growing demand for chickpea products worldwide.  Retail giant Whole Foods listed chickpeas as the “new cauliflower” in their list of 10 trends for 2021, highlighting the versatility of chickpeas as ingredients in products like chickpea tofu, flour, and granola. 


The 2-hour event culminated with a general business meeting to nominate new WPGA board members, discuss new chickpea, lentil, and split pea grading standards, and approve industry-wide policy positions.  WPGA co-chairs Tim Schultz and Todd Wittman moderated the event including the general meeting, while USADPLC CEO Tim McGreevy acted as host.


By using the Zoom® polling feature, participants were able to cast their vote and see immediate and transparent results of the vote even in the online setting.

Over 100 growers, trade members, and pulse researchers registered for the event, and although participants would come and go very much like an in-person event, the attendance never dipped below 80 at any one time. 

The WPGA board held their quarterly meeting following the event to ratify the general meeting elections and decisions, and to elect new officers. 

The virtual format provided in 2020 met the objectives and restrictions presented during the Covid-19 pandemic but the board is looking forward to providing an in-person grower meeting in 2021.

However, the WPGA board was pleased with the effectiveness of the virtual annual meeting. “The meeting was short, it was on time, and the presentations moved along at a nice fast pace,” said Washington grower Kirk Hansen.  “I enjoyed the virtual aspect of the meeting. I believe the virtual format is more inclusive and provides every member an opportunity to participate.” 

Special Thanks to our Diamond Sponsors (See below):



BASF, Crites Seed, Inc, The McGregor Company, Miller Chemical, NovaSource, Palouse Pulse, PNW Farmers Cooperative, Stonebraker McQuary Insurance, Syngenta Seed Treatment, & Wells Fargo Bank

Other Sponsors Include: ProGene Research & Hayden and Ross, PLLC