Craig Shaw is the recipient of the seventh annual Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award.
The fourth-generation Lacombe-area producer, who retired from farming in 2016, was the inaugural vice-president of Alberta Pulse Growers Commission in 1989, becoming the group’s president a year later. He began growing peas in 1984 (to feed his brother’s hogs) and became well known as an early adopter of new practices and technologies as well as for sharing his experiences with other pulse growers.
Today there are more than 6,500 growers of field peas, lentils, dry beans, chickpeas, fababeans and soybeans in Alberta. Peas are by far the most popular (with acreage ranging from 1.5 million to 1.9 million acres) with lentils a solid second (generally between 400,000 to 500,000 acres).