Canada S4P 4J7
Prairie Oat Growers Association(POGA) is a voluntary organization of prairie oat growers established to promote the interests of oat growers and oat marketing. POGA was formed in 1998.
The overall objective of the organization is reflected in its vision and mission statement as well as the organization's values:
Vision: Increase profitability of growing oats for growers across Western Canada.
Mission: Optimize oats as a competitive crop and increase grower profitability through the grower supported levy which directs and funds research, helps develop new markets for oats and influences policy which directly impacts the Western Canadian oat grower.
Grower focus: Focus on the oat growers in Western Canada in all decisions, initiatives and activities.
Market Development: Make smart investments in the creation of new oat markets while expanding current markets, increasing oat viability and providing the most benefit to the oat grower.
Research and Development: Support research into the development of high quality, high yielding oats and oat products that meet the demand of our consumers.
Fiscal Responsibility: Ensure money collected from growers is invested to maximize the benefit to oat growers while managing risk.
POGA, primarily through its board of directors, has developed and maintains a close working relationship with the research community that works on oats for food and for feed, and with the processors-buyers who use oats for the Canadian and U.S. food market.
POGA is organized around a board of directors that is fully reflective of its prairie-wide membership. The board of directors consists of six members from each province.
Each province has a Chairman who is elected by the board, and that Chairman is automatically a Vice-President of POGA. The head office of POGA is in Regina, SK.
POGA has accomplished a great deal in raising awareness of the oat industry, in establishing valuable lines of communication across the industry, and in promoting the interests of oat growers.
Most new oat milling plants are being placed in Western Canada. In many respects the growth in oats production and processing has been one of a few real success stories of prairie agriculture and food over the past decade or so.
Producer Meetings -- As POGA matures, it is developing a program for linking oat growers with their buyers and the research community which supports oat production. The program began with the commitment to distribute a periodic newsletter, The Oat Scoop, with timely information on events, developments, research findings, and some market information.
The second phase is linking producers with their market and research environments. The Oat Grower Commissions do this by participating in CropSphere in Saskatchewan, CropConnect in Manitoba and bringing in speakers to the Alberta Oat Growers Commission AGM. These meetings include presentations from oat researchers and processors, and usually include some market analysis. Oat buyers and dealers are encouraged to attend bringing producers and buyers in contact.
Meeting Attendance -- Another function performed by board members is representation of oat growers at major industry and government meetings. The meetings circuit is, of course, where most of decisions are made influencing how the production, research, marketing, and regulatory systems will work. If oat growers are to get their share of consideration when the money is being distributed or rules are being changed, oat growers have to be at the table and the need to be heard. Our ability to be at those tables is restricted by limited resources, but we do attend a number of important committees, and we comment on proposals as they circulate electronically.
Research Priorities and Funding -- Another high priority of POGA is assuring that oat production research is maintained in the ever-increasingly competitive world of scarce research dollars. We support the research community through attendance at demonstration days across the prairies, by invitations to producer information days, by recognition in written submissions, and by reviewing research proposals that are circulated.
This priority, and moving market development initiatives higher on the activity list, are two of the fundamental activities critical to meeting the organization’s objectives. POGA must to direct and support a larger research and market development capability for the entire industry.
Annual General Meeting -- The annual general meeting is held in early December and rotates among the three provinces. The AGM is a significant milestone in POGA’s operation. It is used to promote the organization, forms part of the producer information strategy, and provides the opportunity for members to bring their views to the board face-to-face.