(Photo submitted)

(Photo submitted)

DREESHEN: It’s a new era for agriculture research in Alberta

Over the last year we organized 17 consultation stops to speak directly with Albertans about their vision for agriculture research in the province. Between in-person sessions and an online survey, over 2,000 farmers, ranchers, industry partners, researchers and academia shared what they thought the future of agriculture research should look like.

They overwhelmingly agreed that farmers and ranchers should decide Alberta’s agriculture research priorities. We heard that loud and clear, and this year, we’ve been working hard to make that a reality.

Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), an arm’s-length organization, was established to ensure that the province’s agriculture research dollars reflect the needs of farmers and ranchers.

In recent weeks, RDAR has achieved multiple milestones in pursuit of a research model that puts farmers and ranchers in the driver’s seat. One of those achievements being a 10-year, $370 million agreement with Alberta’s government.

That is more than one third of a billion dollars that Alberta’s government has committed to agriculture research in the province. More than all of the other prairie provinces combined.

This stable and predictable funding will be awarded to research proposals that focus on the four initial priorities:

• Enhanced productivity, profitability and competitiveness

•Sustainable and responsible agriculture

• Market demands: food safety, quality, value-added products and diversification

• Extension and knowledge transfer

Another important milestone for RDAR was call for research funding proposals, with plenty of excellent submissions expected.

There is tremendous opportunity within our post-secondary institutions. Recognizing that the biggest impact on the industry would come from partnerships with world-leading institutions, we announced agreements with several of Alberta’s colleges and universities. These agreements build on their well-earned reputations for strong agricultural research, opening up more collaboration and learning opportunities for the next generation of agronomists, veterinarians, and technicians.

These agreements included:

A $2 million agreement with Lethbridge College that will see it manage the Alberta Irrigation Technology Centre and the Brooks Greenhouse as part of it Centre for Applied Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.

A $1.8 million agreement with University of Lethbridge, which saw three programs transferred to the university and provided it with the financial capacity to recruit three researchers who will cover apiculture and pollination; specialty crops and irrigation research; vegetable irrigation and potato production.

A three-year, $10.5 million agreement with Olds College, which will see it take ownership of the field crop development centre, giving it the capacity to support more world-leading research and creating more learning opportunities.

A $3.7 million grant to help with the transition of critical research programs and researchers to the University of Alberta. The programs will expand and deepen its research capacity, while ensuring Alberta’s farmers and ranchers benefit from the work it does.

We know that by putting farmers and ranchers in the driver’s seat, agriculture research in Alberta will result in practical discoveries that can be implemented in the field. While this year is turning out to be a record crop, next year could be even better with the ground-breaking research being done by rock star researchers in Alberta.

– Hon. Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

AB Opinions

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
FortisAlberta’s ‘Lights of Joy’ bring smiles to Ponoka seniors

Residents of Golden Leisure Lodge treated to a light display

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

(Photo submitted)
Ermineskin citizen graduates vet school, is part of busy practice

Dr. Justin Hodgson is rolling up his sleeves in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Jeffery Kraft. Photo submitted
Family of Jeffery Kraft feels ‘robbed’ after one accused discharged

Family of victim responds to preliminary hearing in homicide case

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Most Read