GFM Network News


There was a time when having its own research operations was a point of pride for the Alberta government. But changing times, tighter budgets, and a move towards “farmer-led” research means the end of that era. Seen here is a photo from a Lacombe Field Day event in 2018.

Government exits the agricultural research game but questions abound

New publicly funded body launches drive for ‘farmer-led’ research but details still aren’t known

Reading Time: 7 minutes With a flurry of announcements — and a leaked layoff plan — the UCP government has made it clear that it’s largely exiting ag research. But what comes next is still up in the air. In mid-October, the province shifted several research programs to universities and colleges while also informing the union representing agriculture employees […] Read more

Universities and colleges to take over key provincial research programs

Schools will get transition grants to take on former government programs and researchers

Reading Time: < 1 minute The provincial government is transferring several research programs to universities and colleges. They are: University of Alberta Will receive $3.7 million for taking on four programs and their lead researchers. They are Sheri Strydhorst (cereal agronomy), John Basarab (beef genomics and feed efficiency), Marcos Colazo (reproductive management in beef and dairy cattle), and Valerie Carney […] Read more


One-hundred and thirty five positions in the Primary Agriculture division will be cut with an attempt at attrition when possible.

The axe comes down at Alberta’s Agriculture Ministry

Notification letter to union opens window 
on upcoming loss of 190 positions

Reading Time: 2 minutes The province is cutting 247 jobs at Agriculture and Forestry, according to a letter sent to — and then publicly released by — the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. The letter provides some specifics of the “phased workforce transformation,” but also notes that its plans haven’t been completely finalized. It also says cuts will be […] Read more

Researchers are keen to know what sort of projects will garner funding from Alberta’s ag research funder — but they will have to wait. The chair of Results Driven Agriculture Research said the organization doesn’t expect to start reviewing applications before the end of the year.

Research funder aims to be up and running by year’s end

New funding agency wants to boost province’s ag sector but creating the organization will take time

Reading Time: 2 minutes It will likely be next year before the province’s new ag research funding agency starts handing out money. “We’re setting up. We’re gathering information. We’re listening to it,” said David Chalack, interim chair for Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR). “And we have to execute on it. We need to get this entity set up.” The […] Read more


The new agency’s mandate is to focus on research that produces direct benefits for farmers.

Province announces new ag research agency

The new Results Driven Agriculture Research will fund both pure and applied research for the crop and livestock sectors in Alberta

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s back to the future for ag research in Alberta. After holding a series of consultations across the province as well as an online survey, the provincial government has created a new organization that “takes the best parts of previous research models.” That’s a reference to two former agencies — the Alberta Livestock and Meat […] Read more