News & Updates



Edmonton, Alberta (January 13, 2023) – RDAR is pleased to announce that the RDAR Board of Directors elected David Chalack, DVM, ICD.D as Board Chair and Melissa Downing, BSc (Ag), PAg, as Vice-Chair to serve until the 2024 Annual Meeting of Members.

RDAR is confident that with the continued leadership of Dr. Chalack and Ms. Downing, the Board will remain committed to the highest standards of governance and focus on accelerating research innovation – delivered to farmers, ranchers, and agri-food processors.

 Dr. Mark Redmond, RDAR’s CEO, stated, “We are delighted to have David and Melissa re-elected into these important positions. They have been on the Board since RDAR’s inception in 2020 and have overseen RDAR’s evolution. Together, our elected Board builds on the commitment to exceptional governance and focuses RDAR’s resources and energy on the producer.”

Dr. David Chalack recognizes that “RDAR is a unique and progressive concept designed by Albertans for Alberta. Our differentiator is bringing together all sectors of agriculture, crops and livestock, under one framework to accelerate the delivery of research to the farm gate. I am excited to be part of such a dynamic – and thriving initiative.”

David is a veterinarian, Canadian Agricultural Hall of Famer, and partner of Rocky Mountain Holsteins Ltd. Throughout his career, he has been active in the meat and livestock industry, promoting Alberta internationally through Alta Genetics Inc. and prominent Boards, including Chairing the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. He has a strong interest in organization governance and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD).

Ms. Melissa Downing confirms that “RDAR excels at connecting the industry by engaging producers, researchers, tech organizations, post-secondary institutes and more, encouraging innovative thinking and new solutions for agriculture. I look forward to continuing our efforts in bridging all industry sectors to identify research priorities and potential collaborations for future projects.”

Melissa is the Director of Regulatory and Sustainability for the Alberta and National Cattle Feeders’ Associations, applying her professional experience and academic qualifications as a professional Agrologist and BSc (Sustainable Agriculture). Together with her husband, she is raising the fifth generation on their family farm near Metiskow, Alberta,

In December 2022, Dr. Chalack’s and Ms. Downing’s service to Alberta’s agriculture community was recognized by the receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

Learn more about the RDAR Board Directors here.

RDAR’s mandate is to target strategic investments in producer-led, results-driven agriculture research to power Alberta’s competitiveness, profitability, productivity, and sustainability. 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. 

RDAR Media Inquiries
Janada Hawthorne
Communications Lead
RDAR (Results Driven Agriculture Research)