The annual election of the BCFGA executive was held February 4 in Penticton.
The election at the 128th BCFGA Convention drew a great deal of interest from growers, as incumbent President Fred Steele was being challenged by previous president Jeet Dukhia.
Members were surprised when Dukhia withdrew his name from the race the morning of the 2 pm election.
Steele was declared president after the election. A motion to open the floor to further nominations for vice-president failed to be passed. If it had passed, there would have seen competition for the previously uncontested vice-presidency. Pinder Dhaliwal was declared vice-president.
The other six executive members of the BCFGA were also returned. Peter Simonsen, Ravinder Bains and Deep Brar were unopposed for the South Okanagan positions, while Sukhdev Goraya, Surjit Nagra and Tony Nijjar were returned, and challenger Karm Gill was defeated in an election for North Okanagan positions. Both Gill and Dukhia are on the board of BC Tree Fruit Cooperative.
In his acceptance speech, Steele thanked BCFGA members for their confidence. He noted the importance of pressing for a national tree fruit rejuvenation proposal, and the critical need to work together with BC Tree Fruit Cooperative and the other tree fruit packers in the Okanagan.
“Our future is bright, and a sign of that is the many young people attending our convention,” Steele said.