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cover story


Facing the


future with optimism


Raspberry council has a new executive director and a chair who is determined to help keep the industry viable.


By Grant Ullyot S


he has embarked on a different career path, but the new executive director of the Raspberry Industry Development Council is no stranger to


agriculture.


Lisa Craig worked as the financial officer at Prairie Coast Equipment in Abbotsford for the past 15 years. “I know many of the growers and suppliers, who I met during my years in the farm machinery business at the John Deere dealership. Now I have to learn the many policies and regulations that govern the industry, so I am on a bit of a learning curve,” she says.


“However, I am excited about my new opportunity and looking forward to the challenges.” She was introduced to B.C. Berry Grower by Arvin Neger, who was elected chair of the organization about a year ago. He is a fourth-generation raspberry farmer. “Raspberries are important to myself and our business. We


Lisa Craig


farm on both sides of the border. My grandfather was the one who started our operations in Washington State. Now it is a family- run business with some members looking after our farm in


Washington and others responsible for the farm in Abbotsford.


“I want to make sure we remain viable and the


raspberry industry continues to be progressive in B.C. What I can do as chair is to volunteer as much as I can, to be involved as much as I can, and I am really enjoying the position so far.”


Besides being a producer, Neger is also a plant and field manager with Mukhtiar and Sons Processors in Abbotsford. Mukhtiar processes berries into concentrate for the juice and jam market and export their finished products into Washington, Oregon and sometimes California. However,


British Columbia Berry Grower • Spring 2015 5


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