International Year of Pulses, News

MPSG Announces Why Pulses? Challenge Winners

MPSG for SMART Day web


Carman, MB – October 25, 2016 – Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers is excited to announce the winners of its Why Pulses? Challenge, an initiative launched to celebrate and promote pulses during 2016, the UN-declared International Year of Pulses. The challenge ran from the beginning of this year until June 30.

Schools and community groups were invited to create an event or project that highlighted the nutritional, health and/or environmental benefits of pulses and submit it to MPSG for a chance to receive a grant of up to $10,000.

Winners were chosen based on how the project intended to increase awareness of pulses, increase consumption of pulses, and benefit Manitoba’s agriculture industry.

“I am so grateful to the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers of Manitoba for their generous grant of $5,000.00,” said Leslie Singer, food and nutrition teacher at Elmwood High School. “Our aim is to educate students about the health benefits of pulses as well as the affordability of this versatile food.

“Hunger at Elmwood High School is an ongoing concern and with this substantial grant, we will be able to start an after-school cooking program, which will mentor the skills needed to plan, prepare and freeze nutritious meals that can be eaten at school when lunch is not available to students. This will not only help our students perform better in school but will also help to develop skills that will carry over into our students’ adult lives.”

Throughout 2016, MPSG’s Outreach Coordinator Lindsey Andronak, working together with Brandon Clayton, toured schools and community groups all over Manitoba as Kid Bean (a giant kidney bean costume) and the Bean Team. They taught children and adults about the pulse industry in Manitoba, promoting the crop’s health and environmental benefits. They also promoted the Challenge and encouraged groups to submit their ideas.

“More people are eating pulses as a result of the Challenge and the Bean Team’s hard work,” said Toban Dyck, Director of Communications for MPSG. “That’s a great thing. We were happy with the number of Why Pulses? Challenge entries. And we’re very excited to see what the winners will do/have done to promote pulses and agriculture in Manitoba.”

The winners:


  • Louis Riel School Division students will research pulses through field trips and guest speakers and use that knowledge to develop kid-friendly pulse recipes. This will cumulate in the production of a recipe booklet and tasting events.
  • Elmwood High School will implement a student cooking club. Students will plan, prepare and freeze meals containing pulses. Students can then use these meals for nutritious lunches and as a way to alleviate hunger, which has been identified as a school wide problem.
  • Beaverlodge School will host an Empty Bowls Event in support of Winnipeg Harvest. Students will paint clay bowls and serve pulse soups. A pulse soup cookbook will also be sold.

Community Groups:

  • National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin hosted a Best Borscht competition. Competitors had to update their borscht recipe with two different kinds of pulses.
  • Winnipeg Harvest will be hosting free cooking classes and workshops using pulses. They also will be incorporating pulses into their free meal program and providing recipe cards so participants can make these meals at home.
  • The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine are creating a landscape picture depicting Manitoba agriculture morphing into a Winnipeg skyline all out of pulses. Through this mural, they will increase awareness of the nutritional properties of pulses.

MPSG would like to thank all the groups that took the time to participate in the Why Pulses? Challenge. We look forward to bringing you updates on all the projects in the coming year.

About MPSG

The Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers is a non-profit, member-based corporation representing more than 3,500 farmers in Manitoba who grow pulses, including edible beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, faba beans, and soybeans. MPSG provides Manitoba pulse grower members with production knowledge and market development support, through focused research, advocacy, and linkages with industry partners.

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For more information, please contact:
Toban Dyck
Director of Communications


Francois Labelle, PAg
Executive Director 204-745-6488 (ext 2)