Press Releases

RDAR announces $5.1M leveraged investment into a $2.1M agricultural genomics research initiative to benefit Alberta producers and consumers

Edmonton, Alberta – RDAR and Genome Alberta, with the Government of Canada and Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, today announced $5.1 million in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) for agriculture genomics projects. This investment is leveraged 2.5 times with other non-government funding for a total investment of $12.1 million.

“Genomics research has practical real-world application that is contributing to building a more sustainable agriculture sector in Canada. From developing new tools, improving the quality of food we eat, to breeding more resilient crops – our genomic researchers are the heart of advancing science and innovation so that our farmers in Alberta have the tools they need to be successful.” — Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“This investment is a prime example of what an exciting time it is to be in agriculture. These projects touch every corner of Alberta’s ag industry, from dairy and pork to soil and canola, and much more. The work in the labs will show results in the field, and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact it will have across the province.” — Nate Horner, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Rural Economic Development

This investment supports fourteen projects that will apply genomics to address challenges and opportunities across Alberta agriculture, including livestock (bees, beef, dairy, pork); crops (wheat, canola, potatoes); and soil health. Projects encompass RDAR’s producers’ directive to invest in projects powering competitiveness, profitability and productivity; sustainability; and market development. All of the projects have an extension component to transfer research outputs from researchers to producers and consumers.

“RDAR and Genome Alberta have partnered to deliver funding to springboard genomic advancements that will change our industry for the better. The Alberta agriculture and agri-food sector are well-positioned to use genomics to improve food quality, safety and security, and boost crop and livestock production. Genomic advancements will help Alberta create high-value products, gain a more diverse global market share, and increase the agriculture exports of our hard-working producers”. — Dr. David Chalack, RDAR Board Chair

Examples of the funded research projects include:

  • applying precision genomics to select more resilient dairy cows;

  • breeding clubroot resistant canola

  • measuring soil health using meta-genomics;

  • genomic selection of protective agents to combat bacterial pathogens in pigs

  • using genomic data to help protect the health of Alberta livestock.

“Genome Alberta is pleased to partner with RDAR to announce the successful recipients of more than $12.1M in new funding for applied genomics projects. The producer-focused outcomes from this investment will provide innovative solutions and help address industry challenges in sustainable agri-food production. The partnership between Genome Alberta and RDAR leverages our technical skills and strengths within and outside of Alberta to deliver timely and sustainable solutions to one of our key economic sectors.” — David Bailey, President and CEO of Genome Alberta

“Ground-breaking research and establishing partnerships are two of the most critical aspects of Alberta’s agriculture industry. With this shared funding, institutions in Alberta will have capacity to both build upon their existing research potential and advance new innovations, while providing future-focussed jobs and careers for current and prospective students in the province.” — Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister, Advanced Education

Genomics represents leading-edge innovation that continues to evolve as a critical tool to help Alberta’s producers reduce the environmental footprint of farming and improve the quality of the food we eat. Investments in genomic technology will help develop new crop varieties, mitigate livestock and plant diseases, understand soil health, and improve the genetic selection of livestock and crops for traits such as drought tolerance, feed efficiency, and methane emission. Genomics will enable Alberta’s producers to enhance farm operations’ productivity and overall sustainability, directly impacting farm families.

About Genomics
Genomic breakthroughs benefit all Canadians. Genomics involves the study of the entire genetic information of living things encoded in their DNA and related molecules such as RNA and proteins. Insights gathered from genomics hold the key to developing innovations across many sectors such as agriculture and medicine. Investments into genomics presents many opportunities to drive economic growth and improve quality of life for people across Alberta and the globe. 

About RDAR  
RDAR’s mandate is to target strategic investments in producer-led, results-driven agriculture research to power the competitiveness, profitability, productivity and sustainability of Agriculture in Alberta. As a not-for-profit corporation, RDAR’s funding comes from the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and Alberta’s Government through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. 

About Genome Alberta 
Genome Alberta is a publicly funded not-for profit corporation which invests primarily in large-scale genome sciences research projects and technology platforms focused on areas of strategic importance to the province (e.g., human health, forestry, plant and animal agriculture, energy, and environment). By working collaboratively with government, universities, and industry, Genome Alberta is a catalyst for a vibrant life sciences cluster with far reaching social and economic benefits for Alberta and Canada. To date, the organization has managed a research portfolio of over 50 agri-food projects valued at over $170M. 

About the Canadian Agricultural Partnership 
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories. 

RDAR Media Inquiries
Janada Hawthorne 
Communications Lead 
Results Driven Agriculture Research 

Genome Alberta Media Inquiries
Matt Bryman 
Director of Programs 
(780) 905 5229

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Media Inquiries
Ottawa, Ontario 

Genomic Research Projects

table breakdown of genomic research investments