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Farmer-led research

There will be changes to the agricultural research landscape in Alberta this year and we can all add our voice to how that will look.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry made cuts to its spending in the budget handed down in October 2019. Fewer dollars available means less research. To help make the most of the available funds however, the ministry wants to change the way ag research is handled.

Key to that change is making farmer-led research a higher priority. Not that the province’s ag producers have been sitting on the sidelines. They have been involved for years through the various ag commissions and marketing boards in the province which are managed and staffed by experienced producers who know where applied research money and support should be directed.
But research is expensive, timelines can be long, and there are no guaranteed outcomes so a coordinated approach is important.

Minister Dreeshen understands the need for research and said in an editorial in November that “Alberta’s agriculture sector’s long-term success relies on research, environmental stewardship and industry development”.
To help develop a new vision of research, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is seeking public input on:
  • what farmer-led research means to Albertans
  • farmer-led research priorities
  • governance models for delivering farmer-led research

The process involves an online survey available now and open until January 31st.
To really capture what people are thinking you need to meet them face-to-face as well, so there will also be a series of meetings in Lethbridge (January 13), Grande Prairie (January 17), Vermilion (January 21), Camrose (January 21), Barrhead (January 22) Olds (January 23), Calgary (January 24), Strathmore (January 24), and Oyen (January 25).

We encourage you to get involved online or in person, or both because to develop a new and innovative research strategy we need the help and the collaboration of farmers, research organizations, commodity groups and academia.

Here at Genome Alberta we are already working in that collaborative environment and know how successful the approach can be.

Join us in making it even better.

Need more details? Here you go.

Farmer-led research

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