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IAF announces new executive

June 28, 2013  By Press release

June 27, 2013, Victoria, BC – The Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. (IAF) recently announced the appointment of its executive committee with Ken Bates as chair, Irmi Critcher as vice chair, Jim Tingle as treasurer and Robert Dawson as secretary.

In 2012, IAF welcomed third-generation farmer Ken Bates to the board as a representative for the field vegetable, berry and mushroom sectors. Ken and his wife, Judy, live in Ladner where he grows blueberries, potatoes and operates a dairy on a 500-acre farm with his three brothers. Ken brings an extensive background of participation on agricultural boards and committees, including the B.C. Blueberry Council, the Delta Agricultural Society, the Delta Farmers’ Institute and more. Ken has long admired IAF’s work in advancing industry interests. He is proud to assume a leadership role and continue the Foundation’s commitment to helping industry become more competitive, profitable and sustainable. 

Irmi Critcher joined the IAF board in 2008, representing the grains, oilseeds and forage sector. In addition to running a 3,500-acre grain and oilseed farm in the Peace Region for more than 25 years, Irmi has been a longstanding industry champion. She has served on the B.C. Grain Producers Association (BCGPA) board for over a decade (including as treasurer and president), and represents the B.C. Grain Producers on the Grain Growers of Canada board. Irmi was also recently honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, for her exceptional leadership, hard work and dedication in her industry.


Jim Tingle has represented community agriculture on the IAF board since 2009, and co-owns and operates Glenbirnam Farm with wife Roma, marketing Black Angus cattle and market lamb. An experienced professional agrologist, Jim possesses a broad knowledge of the agri-food industry in B.C., specializing in the forage and beef sectors. Jim has served as a consultant to the Cattle Industry Development Council and provided on-farm forage management recommendations in the North-Central Interior. He is a member of the Prince George Cattlemen’s Association, the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, the B.C. Angus Association, the Eaglet Lake Farmers Institute, the B.C. Sheep Federation, and the B.C. Institute of Agrologists (BCIA). In 1999, Jim was named BCIA Agrologist of the Year.

Since 2011, Robert Dawson has served as IAF’s representative for the tree fruits and grape sectors. After earning a bachelor of science and bachelor of law degrees from the University of British Columbia, Robert practiced law until the mid 1970s, before purchasing his family’s Similkameen orchard. Since then, he has served the tree fruit sector in numerous capacities, including as vice-president and chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Co-operative Growers and as a director for BC Tree Fruits Limited and Sun Rype Products Limited. As chair of the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority from 1990 until 2002, he helped implement many of the policies that remain priorities of the industry today. In 2008, Robert was honoured with a lifetime membership in the BC Fruit Growers Association.

The IAF’s executive committee is appointed by the board of directors. Working closely with the executive committee and the board and representing IAF’s funding partners are: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Liaison Officers, Philip Bergen and Michelle Soucie, and Grant Parnell, the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Industry Partnerships Division of the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

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