Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 13, 2009 10:11 ET

Government of Canada Announces the Maintenance of its Scientific Capacity at the Normandin Experimental Farm

JONQUIERE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 13, 2009) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of State (Agriculture) and Member of Parliament for Jonquiere-Alma, announced today that the government will maintain the research capacity at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Experimental Farm in Normandin.

"Our farm is important," said Minister Blackburn today during a press briefing. "It has been central to agriculture in this area since 1936 and employs 16 people in a context where, now more than ever, every job counts. Experimentation in new management methods for forage, grain and other large crops takes place at the Farm, and the studies conducted there help us understand agriculture in the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region. These studies help to support agricultural progress in a northern region and to adapt our continuously improving farming methods here where the climate, environment and soils are different from those in other parts of the country."

Minister Blackburn thus confirmed that the contract with Raynald Drapeau, researcher at the Normandin Farm, would be extended for an additional period of two years, until October 2011. In the meantime, a professional will be assigned to Normandin in order to ensure maintenance of the scientific research capacity in the forage plant and small fruit domain. The assignment will be made after Mr. Drapeau leaves his position to retire in 2011.

Minister Blackburn also stated that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is currently exploring options in order to conduct research activities that will more adequately support agriculture in remote and northern regions. These research activities will be carried out in partnership with governments, stakeholders, industry, the university community and private enterprises. The purpose of the approach is to accelerate the pace of innovation and stimulate economic competitiveness in the agricultural and agri-food sector across the country.

"My government is among those that know how to listen, understand and act," said Minister Blackburn in closing, reiterating the determination of his government to help the entire agri-food industry profit from the tremendous benefits that can be generated by science and innovation. "We are more convinced than ever that innovation is the key to competitiveness."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Natalie Boileau
    Press Secretary
    Cell: 613-697-1845