Dave Chalack has brought his decades of agricultural experience to the position of interim board chair of the newly formed Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR). The organization embodies Alberta’s fresh direction in grant allocation.
Given the rapid development of markets, emerging technologies and a huge public interest in the industry, this is a uniquely opportune time to shape the future of agriculture. Canadian youth are perhaps the best prepared to visualize the shape of things to come and to devise a head-on approach.
Canadian agriculture has faced COVID-19 issues within every industry subset. Challenges in southern Alberta’s Feedlot Alley, the province’s central hub for feeder cattle, have piled up since early 2019 and the global pandemic was just the latest hit in a whirlwind stretch.
A born communicator, Lesley Kelly put her conversational skills to work as an advocate for agriculture. Kelly maintains the High Heels and Canola Fields blog, which she supports with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds. She also co-hosts the What the Farm Podcast with influential American farmer Rob Sharkey.
The ability of legumes to self-fertilize by fixing nitrogen from the air is well-known. Developing this ability in grains, however, could radically change Canadian cereal crop production. Such an innovation has the potential to diminish input costs and decrease environmental impact, but making it happen is a complex and challenging task. Alicja Ziemienowicz, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, is working to solve this tricky biological puzzle. While her research began in 2014, and has yielded impressive results, it could be more than a decade from now until we see nitrogen-fixing grains blowing in the wind.
Over seven-plus decades, Alberta farmer Charles Sherwood Noble developed and promoted new farming practices and technical innovations. Of these, the Noble blade cultivator was used around the world as a low soil disturbance weed control tool. For his work, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1943.
The digital realm is rich with information resources of practical interest to agriculture professionals. We have collected a variety of such interesting and informative apps, websites and newsletters. The area of ag research is particularly well served in this selection. Of course, information can flow both directions, as it does in the case of the citizen science app and insect-themed social media account we’ve included here.
A zombie walks into a bar and the bartender says, “We have a drink named after you. Want one?” The zombie nods and says, “Sure. Give me a Lindsey.” Now, a Zombie is a cocktail and not a beer, but I still stand by my joke.