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How far we’ve come: A Review of Our First Year

In March 2020, Alberta’s government created RDAR as an arm’s length organization and turned over decision-making on Alberta agriculture research to producers. One year on, RDAR is busy fulfilling our mission ~ to select and approve investments into projects that will increase Alberta’s agriculture and food sector competitiveness. Here is a presentation to let us reflect on all that our young, vibrant organization has accomplished in its first year in business.

Discussion about Extension in Alberta

In January 2021, John Knapp presented a paper to the Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) Board of Directors about coordinating extension services in Alberta. Mr. Knapp’s paper put forward that “Alberta’s extension system is currently disconnected, and that a discussion amongst key players could result in a system that is more effective.”

The Board, recognizing the importance of extension, directed RDAR’s management to hold consultations with industry to see whether there was interest in further discussing a more coordinated approach to extension in Alberta. On February 16th and 17th, 2021 RDAR hosted three ninety-minute consultations. Read the summary report below.

Advisory Committee Presentation

On August 18, RDAR’s Advisory Committee met for the first time. The Committee had the opportunity to meet each others’ representatives and hear from Tom Steve, the Committee’s Co-Chair about RDAR’s progress and status to-date. Dr. Stanford Blade and Clinton Dobson, Chair of RDAR’s Research Committee and Interim Research Director, respectively, presented a “straw dog” of potential research priorities RDAR could pursue initially. 

Policy Paper Discussion

This collection of 10 papers were discussed with industry partners in June 2020 over 6 webinars, facilitated by John Knapp. Webinar participants were polled to provide the RDAR Board with advice on how to proceed.