GFM Network News

Recording data digitally leads to better management and is more efficient, says RDAR, which is funding a project to accelerate adoption of digital tools.

Digital herd management project gets funding

Three-quarters of cow-calf producers still using pen and paper, says funding body

Reading Time: < 1 minute RDAR, the province’s independent research funding body, has given a grant to a project to encourage cattle producers to swap their pens for digital herd-management technology.  “Seventy-five per cent of cow-calf producers use pen and paper for their herd record-keeping and management,” Results Driven Agriculture Research said in announcing a $43,000 grant to Flokk Systems […] Read more

Farmers asked for views on research

Reading Time: < 1 minute What kind of Alberta research should get funding? That’s a question the province’s independent research funding body is asking farmers. “Our vision is to see Alberta’s agriculture and food sectors reach their full potential — we are inviting you to help shape what that full potential looks like,” RDAR chief executive Mark Redmond said in […] Read more

Not every one of Alberta’s 12 applied research associations have as many staff as Chinook Applied Research Association (top) and Farming Smarter, but the $2 million the dozen groups collectively receive annually from the province’s new research agency doesn’t come close to covering their costs.

Prospects for ag research in Alberta still up in the air

New research agency is finding its feet but uncertainty abounds

Reading Time: 5 minutes Alberta’s new research funding body has made some progress over the last six months — but it’s still very much a work in progress. “It’s been a pretty hectic time for them with lots of growing pains, and there’s still lots of room for improvement, but we are getting support and hoping for improvements over […] Read more

The new 10-person board overseeing the research funding organization was elected by its 33 members.

New research funding agency gets first elected board

Farmers make up the majority of the directors overseeing Results Driven Agriculture Research

Reading Time: 2 minutes Like other birthday celebrations this past year, there was not a party. But Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) marked one year of existence by announcing, on a Zoom meeting, the members of its first elected board. The new 10-person board overseeing the research funding organization (replacing one appointed by the province) was elected by its […] Read more

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