Federal funding announced for agricultural research initiative

GUELPH — Federal agriculture minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced on May 10 that $4.2 million taxpayer dollars would be used to bring “Living Lab – Ontario” to the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair area, where the majority of land on the watershed is used for agriculture.

Part of the federal government’s overarching Living Laboratories Initiative, the program’s expansion into the province will make Living Lab – Ontario the fourth “hub” of its kind across Canada.

The hub is a collaborative effort among agriculture sector stakeholders to bring about development and innovation to address agricultural issues concerning climate change, soil and water conservation and biodiversity.

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association will take the lead on the effort  which will involve on-location research at farms and within watersheds.

“On-farm applied research has been a core principle of the organization since its inception in 1939 and Living Lab – Ontario provides an ideal opportunity to create a stronger network of innovation among the partners and Ontario’s farmers,” Chad Anderson, president of the Ontario and Crop Improvement Association, was quoted as saying in a May 10 press release.

Expertise gleaned from the research will be shared with farmers to “help accelerate the adoption of sustainable practises and technologies,” the press release read.