b'cases in Alberta spiked to over 1,500. The Alberta Barley AGM and the delegate and director session moved to an online format held Dec. 9. They also moved their annual winter regional meetings online only days before they were scheduled to begin in mid-November.We re-evaluate those plans every single day as we see things unfold, he says of on-the-fly adjustments. Fortunately, we have a very strong team and very strong events manager that can quickly adjust as needed. Thats why maybe weve taken a little bit of a different approach versus some other groups.With the lack of in-person events and communication does come unexpected benefits, though. Just ask Leanne Fischbuch.Those (webinars) were well-attended because farmers were missing fieldTom Steve, general manager of the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissionsdays and the interaction. Tom SteveThe executive director of Alberta Pulse Growers explains how her contact with government has never been better. Shortly after the pandemic set in, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada began hosting conference calls for industry that occurred three times per week at the beginning of the lockdown.(Calls) had a variety of topics and the federal government would use that as a way to share information for the sector, get feedback on various things theyd been announcing or issues that had come up, she says, adding other federal ministries were also on different conference calls. Those are really great opportunities we had to dialogue with government.Those calls happen less frequently now, but Fischbuch says she still periodically calls in to stay informed for her members. Many in the industry, including Fischbuch, hopes the calls continue indefinitely. The dialogue helped her voice concerns over Alberta-specific issues, such as a gap in research created by COVID-19.Federal research facilities were shut down at the beginning of the pandemic. Two of the last research centres to reopen were in Lacombe and Lethbridge, a pair of critical stations for pulse-related research. While Fischbuch estimates provincial facilities are running around 80 per cent capacity, federal operations are much lower, around 30 per cent. The impact that it had really challenges the research program we have investments in, she says, specifically about federalLeanne Fischbuch, executive director of Alberta Pulse GrowersSpring 2021 9'