CHRISTA ROETTELE, Communications Branch OMFRA
The Ontario government is investing $7 million into agri-food research projects which will support greater environmentally friendly agricultural practices, protect livestock health and welfare, and stimulate economic growth within the agri-food sector and Ontario’s rural communities.
Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, Ontario is supporting advanced agri-food research, in collaboration with the University of Guelph, on projects including the following: Evaluating the ability of natural buffer strips, to reduce the impact of agricultural practices on freshwater ecosystems, protect water quality and biodiversity; Studying the impact of using herbs instead of antibiotics, to improve calf health, growth, and welfare; Assessing the capacity of communities, to respond to rural and agricultural issues and identify best practices; Examining pests, diseases and weeds impacting Ontario crops, develop integrated pest management practices, and examine crop genetics to improve varieties and disease resistance; Addressing pathways of common illnesses, to improve the health of young animals and evaluating probiotics and alternative control measures.
“Agri-food research is key to strengthening Ontario’s agriculture sector; this advanced research is critical for our province to remain a world leader in the industry,” explained Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMFRA). “These projects help to, develop the most advanced management practices, improve production efficiency and drive economic growth which strengthens farm businesses, the sector, and rural economies.”
“As a global leader in agri-food research and innovation, the University of Guelph is committed to creating world-class, cutting-edge solutions that power [the] current and future competitiveness of Ontario’s remarkable agri-food sector,” said Malcolm Campbell Vice-President (Research). “Discoveries made at U of G, fuelled by OMAFRA’s incredible support, will continue to underpin our province’s sustainable food systems, while ensuring a healthy, prosperous society for generations to come.”
The funded research projects will generate new knowledge, train highly qualified personnel, and help maintain science capacity, to address emerging issues facing the sector, which in turn, will help grow the economy.