As Alberta Canola’s first research director, I have enjoyed the opportunity to do a deep dive into all aspects of our research programs and partnerships driven by grower funding.
Beginning with our Grower Engagement Meetings in the fall of 2021, I’ve been helping growers understand the partnerships and funding that drives Alberta Canola’s research program. More importantly, I’ve been actively listening to growers to hear their immediate research needs and what they see as opportunities or threats for the future.
I am very excited to announce the first annual Alberta Canola Research Symposium, to be held in Lethbridge on January 18, 2023 as part of the new Alberta Canola Conference. The Symposium will include presentations on current research and, more importantly, a chance to hear directly from growers on their current and future research needs. Grower input is essential as we build and strengthen the research program at Alberta Canola.
My first year as research director has given me a lot of ideas on how we, together, can continue to make the research program inclusive for all canola growers in Alberta. I look forward to this upcoming year leveraging grower dollars for leading research success.
As the global pandemic hit, SaskCanola had to pivot and move events to an online format to stay connected with our growers and other stakeholders. As we get back to hosting in-person events, we’ve tailored them strategically to best suit the needs of Saskatchewan canola growers.
This past summer, in partnership with IHARF and WARC, we hosted two canola-specific crop walks. These events highlighted SaskCanola-funded research projects and demonstrations. Project leads were available to talk about their work and answer any questions from growers.
As the winter months approach, SaskCanola is planning five regional meetings across Saskatchewan for the end of January to mid-February. We will be partnering with SaskBarley, and other organizations, to bring timely and relevant agronomic, marketing, policy and health information to growers and agronomists. Registration and agenda details are available on our website.
SaskCanola will have videos of extension events available if you can’t attend, but it’s worthwhile to join us in-person, to learn about the latest canola research findings and to help increase your yields and your prosperity. I look forward to seeing you and reconnecting with each other to discuss your priorities on your farm.
My passion for plants and agriculture has driven me to be where I am today. From studying plant biotech at the University of Manitoba to becoming a Masters’ candidate studying excess moisture in canola, I have wanted to learn as much as I can about how plant genetics relate to crop resiliency. During my university studies, I was fortunate to have been the summer student at MCGA and see first-hand how they represent farmers’ needs. I stepped in while Amy Delaquis is on parental leave to continue her work of ensuring that the gaps in Manitoba’s canola research are being filled and upcoming research aligns with our farmers’ priorities.
As the current research manager with the Manitoba Canola Growers Association, I am responsible for prioritizing farmer-identified research needs, managing funding, exploring new research collaborations and growing the on-farm research programs. The 2021 season showed us that even with less revenue due to drought challenges, maximizing and leveraging what we have is key to providing future resilience and yield stability for canola growers. I am focused on ensuring that the investment from canola growers funds research that is timely and innovative to support them in their on-farm decisions and future success.