Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 14, 2007 13:36 ET

Canada's New Government Invests Over $1 Million in Agricultural Research Projects in Lacombe

LACOMBE, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2007) - Mr. Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, Alberta, 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 over $1 million in 8 research projects in Lacombe in 2007-08, and a total of $3.4 million for 37 projects in Alberta.

"Canada's New Government is proud to contribute to agricultural research projects in Lacombe, that benefit everyone-farmers, industry and all Canadians," said M.P. Calkins. "By conducting this Peer Review process, we are ensuring that projects are relevant, innovative and will help advance our country's agricultural sector in the areas of health, the environment and the bioeconomy."

The announcement was made at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre in Lacombe, Alberta. Earlier this month, Minister Strahl announced the results of the external Peer Review of 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 a framework of genetic evaluation and improvement systems for economically relevant traits in beef cattle;

- Mitigating the impact of disease on the Canadian beekeeping industry and safeguarding honey as a food product for the Canadian consumer;

- Assessing the impact of straw harvest for biofuel feedstock and other uses on soil quality and crop production; and

- Developing a management system to support sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly malting and feed barley production systems using an integrated approach.

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
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Conrad Bellehumeur
    Director of Communications