Lakeland College in Vermilion is getting a $1.9-million grant to transition two agriculture research programs, the provincial government announced Monday.
The three-year agreement will support Lakeland College to take over pulse agronomy and beef production systems programs in Alberta.
Roughly $1.4 million is coming from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and just under $500,000 from the Strategic Research and Development Program.
Focuses will include growing trade and expanding markets, innovation and sustainability, and diversity.
“Through these investments in science and research, we are helping to keep our pulse and beef producers on the cutting edge,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“This agreement with Lakeland College will support producer-led research priorities in these industries, while cultivating the next generation of agriculture researchers. A win-win! [sic]”
The pulse agronomy program is a mixture of extension and pulse research projects across Alberta that facilitates the growth of the agriculture and food industry and enhances rural sustainability.
The beef production systems program focuses on livestock disease and pathogens, pain mitigation strategies and production efficiency, including beef forage, feed rations and genetics.
“This agreement is another exciting step for farmer-led research. Agriculture will continue to have a bright future in Alberta with cutting-edge research and research excellence,” said Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in a press release.
“The pulse and cattle industry will benefit having this research housed at Lakeland College.”
This investment in research will also expand research capacity and teaching opportunities for the next generation.
The government said an agreement is almost complete that will allow the college to grow and leverage its existing research capacity, and make way for new learning opportunities for instructors and students, as well as more collaboration with industry.
“This agreement supports a new model for agriculture research and increases Lakeland’s capacity to produce results of value and better serve commercial crop and beef producers,” said Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO, Lakeland College.
“We are excited to build on our results-oriented research partnerships with industry while also increasing opportunities for student involvement as they develop applied research skills that will serve them well in the future.”
The government said this agreement is part of the commitment of ensuring farmers and ranchers lead agriculture research priorities.
Establishing Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), an arm’s-length, non-profit corporation, was the first step to ensure research funding priorities are producer led, the government said.
Over the long term, RDAR will assume ongoing responsibility for funding agreements. Alberta’s government has committed $370 million in provincial funding to agriculture research over the next 10 years.
“Lakeland College continues to be a leader in agriculture research and this new agreement will only bolster that reputation. Under the stewardship of Lakeland, we can be certain that this project will support Alberta’s hard-working farmers and ranchers,” said Garth Rowswell, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster-
This investment is made possible by the governments of Canada and Alberta through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and the Strategic Research and Development Program.