Kelowna orchardist Robert Dawson has joined the board of directors for the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Dawson was appointed as representative for the tree fruit and grape sectors during the foundation’s annual general meeting last month.
“The knowledge, experience and expertise of our directors are invaluable as we review applications and funding requests from industry,” said IAF chair, Stuart Wilson.
“We welcome Robert to the IAF board and look forward to his future contributions.”
Dawson brings a lot of agricultural experience to this new role.
He was born in Kelowna, where his family began the development of a 100-acre orchard in 1948.
After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a bachelor of science in 1967 and earning a bachelor of law degree in 1970, Dawson practiced law until the mid-1970s, before purchasing the family 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 B.C. Tree Fruits Limited and Sun Rype Products Limited.
Dawson was appointed chair of the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority in 1990 and remained in that office until 2002, helping implement many of the policies that remain priorities of the industry today.
Dawson is currently serving a second term on the board of directors for the Okanagan Plant Improvement Company and, in 2008, was honoured with a lifetime membership in the B.C. Fruit Growers Association.
Dawson believes that the success of the tree fruit sector depends on growers’ capacity to provide a consistently high-quality product.
“There are many ways to market our products, but our challenge is to remain competitive in yield, quality and price,” he said.
Dawson replaces director Don Claridge, an Okanagan orchardist who served on the IAF board since 2009.
The Investment Agriculture Foundation is an industry-led not-for-profit organization that strategically invests federal and provincial funds in support of innovative projects to benefit the agriculture and agri-food industries in B.C.