Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Following the funding, March 1-15 here delivers a quick wrapup of a dozen federal and federal/provincial ag-related funding announcements across Canada during the first half of March.

March 15

Functional foods, Manitoba: The Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network, a brain trust made up of several research centres meant to “link the health benefits of Prairie-grown and -made foods to diets that can reduce the incidence of chronic diseases,” will get $406,000 in federal and provincial funding during 2010-11 “to support the further research, development and commercialization of projects that identify links between food components and health.” Of that, $281,300 will come from the Growing Forward ag policy funding framework, 60 per cent of which is federally funded. Another $125,000 will come from Manitoba’s innovation, energy and mines ministry.

March 14

Crop chamber, Saskatchewan: The University of Saskatchewan will get $6.5 million in federal and provincial funding for “enhanced capacity” of its phytotron, a controlled environment to allow researchers “to determine how soils, plants, water, light, wind and pests interact under a variety of conditions.” The funding, the governments said, will increase the environmental chamber capacity from 60 to 100 per cent. Western Economic Diversification Canada will provide $4.5 million, while the provincial ag ministry provides $2 million. The U of S will invest another $3 million in the project.

Hothouse flowers, Ontario: Flowers Canada Growers, the Guelph-based organization for greenhouse floriculture producers in Canada, will get $126,000 from the federal AgriMarketing program to help boost the U.S. market for Canadian growers. The funds will go toward work such as updating an export procedures manual, promoting the use of Canadian online auction systems to U.S. buyers, completing a market research study, and participating in U.S. and international trade shows.

March 11

Traceability testing, Alberta: The Calgary-based Canadian Cattle Identification Agency will get a new investment of over $1.6 million from the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI) to continue its work on Phase 2 of setting up effective nationwide livestock traceability using radio frequency identification (RFID), by exploring the feasibility and benefits of linking the RFID system to auction marts’ existing computer systems. “The results of Phase Two will be outlined in a business case that identifies issues, opportunities, costs and performance to evaluate the impact of fully automated RFID systems at the auction markets as well as buying stations and assembly yards,” CCIA chair Darcy Eddleston said in a release. CIFSI has funded CCIA’s traceability work with up to $4.5 million to date, the government said.

Buyers for byproducts, Quebec: The Montreal-based Canadian Renderers Association, representing Canada’s three major rendering companies, will get over $130,000 in federal AgriMarketing funding toward worldwide market development work such as attending trade shows, taking part in overseas missions, hosting incoming missions and providing presentations and seminars for potential buyers.

Nursery schooling, Ontario: The Milton, Ont.-based Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, representing about 650 nursery growers and over 3,000 related companies, will get just over $65,000 in federal AgriMarketing funds “to support a variety of marketing activities that include the ongoing development of the Canada Brand for Canadian-grown nursery stock, participation at the International Plant Fair in Germany, and the development of a promotional strategy for the sector’s buy-sell web portal.”

March 10

Forage for foreign feeders, Manitoba: The Brandon-based Manitoba Forage Council will administer $90,000 in federal AgriMarketing funding for export development work by the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association. Funds will go to develop promotional and technical packages for international buyers, back fact-finding missions and participation at selected trade shows and support an economic study on transportation, with the goal of boosting Canada’s exports of forage, particularly to China, Japan, the Middle East and the U.S.

March 8

Pet food promotion, Ontario: The Ottawa-based Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada will get $175,000 in federal AgriMarketing funding for worldwide market development for Canadian food products for dogs, cats, birds and other domesticated pets. Related work will include relationship-building with new and existing customers, boosting the sales, exports and value of members’ products and attending U.S. and other international trade shows and various “outgoing missions.”

March 4

Isotope investment, Saskatchewan: The University of Saskatchewan will get $10 million in federal Western Economic Diversification funding and $7 million in provincial funding toward an advanced research cyclotron to help treat animal, plant and human diseases, as well as producing isotopes for advanced medical imaging and “new, stronger materials” for industrial use. “Research aided by the cyclotron and related equipment could lead to the development of new crops with improved yields, help identify and examine diseases, and design new drugs and vaccines,” the funding partners said. The new cyclotron will be sited for quick access by the university’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Canadian Light Source, International Vaccine Centre (InterVac) and Royal University Hospital.

Feed flaking, Saskatchewan: The University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Feed Research Centre at North Battleford will get $583,469 in federal Western Economic Diversification funding to help install steam flake-extrusion milling equipment. Combined with vacuum coating of pellets, the centre’s new equipment is expected to help boost the nutritional value of feed from crops such as pulses and canola, and customize the feed to the “unique dietary requirements of different sectors of the livestock industry.”

Product processing, Saskatchewan: Saskatoon’s Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre, a partnership between the University of Saskatchewan, the province’s food processors and the provincial ag ministry, will get $800,000 in Western Economic Diversification funding for new equipment meant to “assist food processors in reducing costs, increasing product quality, enhancing food safety and developing new product lines.”

Peat play, Manitoba: Berger Peat Moss, based at Hadashville, about 75 km northeast of Steinbach, will get $1.07 million from the federal Community Adjustment Fund to boost production capacity. Related work will include construction of storage pads, field access roads and open bog areas, implementation of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, improving screening equipment in the plant and buying loading and field harvester operating equipment.

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