WGRF Commits $3 million to Agriculture Research Chair at University of Alberta

WGRF is pleased to announce a commitment of $3 million for a Research Chair in Cropping Systems at the University of Alberta to study interactions between plants, soils, crop management and the environment.

Western Canadian farmers face agronomic challenges that cut across multiple crops. A Cropping Systems Chair position will provide a dedicated scientist to work on farm-level management systems. Examples include, inter-disciplinary considerations of crop, water and input use efficiency, soil management, economic benefits and control of pests (weeds, insects and diseases). The Chair may also provide innovation related to whole-farm sustainability from economic, social and environmental perspectives.

“This position will provide much needed expertise in the area of Cropping Systems,” said Terry Young, WGRF Board Chair. “Farmers don’t just grow one crop. Focusing research on a multi-crop systems approach will help lead to innovative farming practices and technologies that boost yield and crop quality while controlling crop diseases and insects, improving profitability and sustainability.”

“We are grateful for this new investment by WGRF to support hiring a new chair in our faculty,” said Stan Blade, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. “We appreciate the willingness of WGRF leadership and producers across Western Canada to invest in the future of our sector. The new chair will develop a program that will create new ideas through innovative research and will train the next generation of people needed by the industry.”

“WGRF is focused on taking a whole-farm approach to research. Strategic investments to increase agronomy research capacity in Western Canada is one of many approaches we are using,” said Garth Patterson, WGRF Executive Director. “We are very excited about having a Research Chair in Cropping Systems at the University of Alberta. This Research Chair will create incremental field crop research capacity in western Canada, while providing the U of A the ability to advance its academic mission and catalyze new research initiatives in agronomy.”