CCGA Celebrates 35 YearsSeptember 30, 2019Hub Article In 1984, Canada had three different prime ministers1 and a prime interest rate hovering around 12%. Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space.Corey Hart wore Sunglasses at Night.TSN made its television debut.The first herbicide-tolerant variety of canola was registered.Also in 1984, Prairie Canola Growers Council (PCGC) became an official administrator of the Advance Payments Program (APP) and started issuing cash advances to canola farmers in Western Canada.This fall, Canadian Canola Growers Association (the successor to PCGC) proudly celebrates 35 years of "Helping Farmers Succeed" — a deeply-held commitment that's been our vision since the very start.With the introduction of canola in the 1970s, a group of farmers growing the crop wondered why there were cash advances for wheat, barley and oats, but not for canola. They understood the challenges of managing farm cash flow and worked together to create PCGC.Charlie Froebe was PCGC's first general manager. In the early years, Charlie, his wife Bonnie, and two part-time employees operated PCGC from the Froebe home. From 1984-2000, farmers could only apply for a fall advance on stored canola and an expanding list of grains. At that time, the maximum allowable APP cash advance was $250,000 with a $50,000 interest-free component.Despite the limitations, each year more farmers used the program. Staff worked tirelessly navigating new technologies, adding commodities and improving program delivery. In 1992, PCGC changed its name to Canadian Canola Growers Association.In 1997, PCGC processed more than 2,000 applications, hired its first full-time employee, and moved to office space in Carman, Manitoba. In 2000, major changes came with the introduction of spring cash advances. For the first time, farmers could apply for an advance before the crop was harvested.Over the years, CCGA and the organization's cash advance program have continued to evolve. More than 10,000 farmers now benefit from CCGA's services each year. Over 60 employees support farmers through the cash advance program, as well as national agricultural policy development and advocacy.CCGA staff celebrated in September, sharing memories, cake, and a lot of pride for how CCGA has grown in serving farmers. Rick White, CCGA Chief Executive Officer, started with the association in 2003. He praised staff for their commitment to helping farmers, making a difference, and finding innovative ways to serve the agriculture industry.For 35 years, CCGA has been Helping Farmers Succeed. We are proud of our roots and the work and dedication that makes it all possible. THANK YOU to the staff and the farmers who have helped us reach this milestone and continue to guide us forward. 1Pierre Trudeau until June; John Turner from June to September; Brian Mulroney from September on.