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Province reaching out to farmers for priorities around agriculture research

Government of Alberta looks to farmers to gather feedback regarding the future of agriculture research in Alberta

The Government of Alberta is reaching out to farmers to gather feedback regarding the future of agriculture research in Alberta.

Along with an online survey being offered, there will be six public engagement sessions held throughout the province.

“We are working with farmers to determine their research priorities. This is an opportunity to transform how we do research and attract investment from the private sector. I see world-leading agricultural research happening here, either by leveraging work happening in existing facilities or building brand new ones," says Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, in a government media release dated Jan. 8.

Kelli Nichiporik is an Environmental Program Manager at Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA), based in Fort Kent. She acknolwedges that the future of agricultural research is somewhat uncertain.

"The future of agricultural research, and the continued operation of local based research and extension done through Agricultural Research Associations such as Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA) and others across the province, is uncertain. The Alberta Government is currently seeking input from all Albertans’ regarding what research priorities are, who should be doing research and how it shall be funded," says Nichiporik.

She adds, "The government is very interested in farmer-led research priorities and governance, and LARA is a great model for this as we are producer driven."

The upcoming sessions and the online survey are "critical for the continued support for organizations such as LARA, as well as the future for agricultural research and innovation, as producers could lose their local, unbiased source for agricultural information without their valued input," she explains.

She encourages people to attend the upcoming engagement sessions, along with filling out the survey online. As an extra step, she feels producers should also contact their local MLA to discuss the issue.

At the public engagement sessions, the government will be seeking input on: what farmer-led research means to Albertans; farmer-led research priorities; and governance models for delivering farmer-led researc, reads a the government media release sent out last week. Engagement sessions are being held in Lethbridge on Jan. 13, Grand Prairie on Jan. 17, Vermilion on Jan. 21, Camrose on Jan. 21, Olds on Jan. 23, and Calgary on Jan. 24.

The online survey is open until Jan. 31 and can be accessed HERE. (


Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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