Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 14, 2007 13:29 ET

Canada's New Government Invests $2.4 Million in Agricultural Research Projects in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2007) - Mr. Rick Casson, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge, on behalf of Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that Canada's New Government will invest $2.4 million in 29 research projects in Lethbridge in 2007-08, and a total of $3.4 million for 37 projects in Alberta.

"Canada's New Government is committed to advancing our country's agricultural sector and is proud to invest in the excellent scientific research conducted here in Lethbridge," said M.P. Casson. "This Peer Review process will lead to greater prosperity and profitability of Canada's agricultural sector by focusing on traditional, as well as innovative, research in the areas of health, the environment and the bioeconomy."

"The scientists here and in Lacombe will be contributing important research to help advance our country's agricultural sector," said M.P. Casson.

Earlier this month, Minister Strahl announced the results of the external Peer Review of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research proposals for 2007-08 and a federal investment of $22.1 million for 233 projects across Canada.

The funding announced today will go to projects such as:

- developing management strategies targeted at reducing the prevalence and concentration of pathogens (e.g. E. coli, Salmonella, etc.) within beef cattle and their environment;

- managing carbon and nitrogen to sustain productivity and preserve environmental health;

- genetically enhancing winter wheat for improved environmental sustainability, enhanced food safety, and expanded end-use product utilization; and

- researching sustainable expansion of Canola production for the food and biodiesel markets.

Canada's New Government launched the Peer Review process in 2006 to ensure future research projects are based on excellence in science, as well as the competitiveness of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to submit future proposals to external Peer Review to uphold the credibility of its science and ensure sound investment of public funds.

For more information on the results of the external peer review process, please visit the AAFC Website (


In May 2006, Minister Strahl announced Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Science and Innovation Strategy which identified seven national goals and priorities to ensure AAFC's investments and efforts in science and innovation remain relevant to the agricultural sector.

The Peer Review has allowed the department to realign its research efforts and resources by submitting research project proposals to external evaluation by the scientific community prior to allocating funds.

Project proposals were submitted to four external review panels focused on plant sciences, animal sciences, environment and ecology and food sciences. The panels were composed of 38 expert scientists from organizations outside AAFC, who used preliminary evaluations from 330 external experts. Each proposal was evaluated against specific selection criteria including, assuring the best possible investment of public funds, ensuring scientific excellence, and providing international-caliber science in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

During this process, scientists were encouraged to use integrated, multi-disciplinary research projects that involved more than one scientist and included research coordination and collaboration with other government departments and agencies, academia and/or industry. In total, 233 research proposals were identified for support.

Scientists will continue to conduct research in traditional areas, while exploring new promising areas for research to help build a sustainable and competitive agriculture and agri-food sector for the 21st Century.

More information on AAFC's external Peer Review and its results are available online at

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972 or 1-866-345-7972
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Conrad Bellehumeur
    Director of Communications