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Alberta’s farmers know their industry best and what it needs to grow and thrive in the modern era. So when we established Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), an arm’s-length, non-profit corporation, we ensured its research funding priorities were producer-led.
Since then, we’ve got the ball rolling on millions of dollars worth of research that will directly benefit farmers and livestock producers. Alberta’s government has committed $370 million – over a third of a billion dollars – to funding agriculture research over the next decade.
This year, RDAR hit the ground running. Once its new board of directors was elected and CEO hired in March 2021, it’s been busy reviewing, assessing and funding innovative research that will impact farmers and ranchers for years to come.
Just a few examples of RDAR’s investments in Alberta’s agriculture industry:
- $6 million in continued support for the province’s applied research associations through program and project funding
- $750,000 to the Alberta Wheat Commission in partnership with the Crop Sector Working Group on agriculture stewardship of wetlands and waterways
- $498,000 to increase efficient water use and irrigation efficiency in southern Alberta
- $300,000 to help Olds College researchers identify and develop disease-resistant barley and triticale
- $248,000 to Lakeland College to help make livestock genetic data and analysis testing more effective and competitive
The 2021 growing season was especially dry, and RDAR stepped up to respond quickly. It put out a Fast Call for research proposals to help meet the short-term needs of Alberta producers. This research will support agriculture industry learnings on how to manage drought and extreme heat conditions.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – you can find out more about RDAR’s research investments at its website, rdar.ca.
Devin Dreeshen served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from April 30, 2019 to November 5, 2021.