Janet Kanters won silver for the Alice Switzer Award for her article, “FarmRite associations discuss the future of farmer-led research with provincial agriculture minister”, published in FarmRite and others.
FarmRite associations discuss the future of farmer-led research with provincial agriculture minister
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lethbridge, Alberta) November 7, 2019 – The six agriculture research associations that make up FarmRite recently met with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen to discuss priorities for agriculture research in the province.
At the meeting on Oct. 30 in Edmonton, the Minister verbally committed to renewing a core capacity grant and pledged an additional $2 million per year through CAP for projects. Key priorities of the FarmRite delegation included flexible, stable and sufficient funding for core functions including manpower, capital, operating, project and extension activities.
“Today, every dollar invested in agricultural research generates $32, showing a healthy return on investment,” said Michel Benoit from Falher, chair, SARDA Ag Research. “And primary production is the root of that healthy industry. We need to continue our work in agriculture research to ensure the industry remains vital now and into the future, and to help to lead us to more value-added production in Alberta.”
The FarmRite lobby trip included directors from the Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA), Farming Smarter, Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA), SARDA Ag Research, West Central Forage Association (WCFA) and Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (PCBFA). The delegation shared a united message about how the government can support farmer-led research in Alberta.
Other topics of discussion included the need for more processing of commodities such as canola, potatoes and beef, and the necessity to attract investment at all levels of the industry.
“The Minister is committed to farmer-led research and that will be his No. 1 priority once farm safety is completed,” noted Barry Redel from Consort, director, CARA. “Roundtable discussions regarding research will begin as soon as December.”
FarmRite collaborators are committed to working closely with the government of Alberta, Alberta producers’ commissions and the province’s colleges to meet the innovation, research and extension needs of Alberta’s producers.
FarmRite is a group of six research associations in Alberta that work directly with farmers and land stewards to bring best practices into the norms of agricultural production. Individually, the organizations involved act as bridges from pure and applied science to on-farm practice improvements and knowledge growth.
Ken Coles, General Manager