AG Notes

grain research funded

The Alberta Wheat Commission will spend $1.5 million on agronomic and breeding-genetic research projects as part of the Agriculture Funding Consortium.

The AWC money will fund 10 research projects: five in breeding-genetics, four in agronomic management and one that covers both agronomy and genetics.

To leverage research money, AWC worked with several AFC members on these projects, including the Western Grains Research Foundation, Alberta Innovates BioSolutions, the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund, the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Barley, the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Potato Growers of Alberta and the Alfalfa Seed Commission.

The total investment for all 10 projects is $9 million and includes funding targeted at national, provincial and university institutions.

The AFC is a group of 14 funding organizations that are collaborating on agriculture research funding. All projects submitted to the AFC are subject to independent, expert review.

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APAS to hire new general manager

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is looking for a general manager.

However, the position could go to one of the two people currently sharing the job, should they choose to apply.

“We tried an experiment,” said president Norm Hall from his tractor May 9.

That experiment was to replace former manager Niall Kuyek, who retired last summer, with two people each at 60 percent time. Doug Faller and Mitch Demyen shared the job and overlapped in the office on Wednesdays.

“We set a late spring goal for ourselves that if it wasn’t working we’d look at making a change,” Hall said.

He said the board has been evaluating the situation since December and decided to go with an open hiring process. The two incumbents are aware they might be out of their jobs.

But Hall said while the two each had their own areas of responsibility, they were spending too much time communicating about the areas of overlap.

Essentially, he said, it just wasn’t working.

Former Sask. ag minister announces retirement

Well-known and popular former agriculture minister Bob Bjornerud has announced he won’t run in the next Saskatchewan election.

The MLA for Melville-Saltcoats stepped down from cabinet a couple of years ago and his decision is not unexpected.

“Even though I don’t look like it, I will be 70 by the time of the next election, so I think it is time for someone else to carry the Saskatchewan Party banner into that election,” he said.

Bjornerud is one of the eight founders of the party. He was elected as a Liberal in 1995.

He and seven others formed the Sask Party in 1997 and was subsequently re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. He won the last time with 73 percent of the popular vote.

Premier Brad Wall said Bjornerud has been a steady voice for rural Saskatchewan in both opposition until 2007 and in government.

“Bob would never call himself this but I will — he’s been a champion for rural Saskatchewan,” Wall said in a statement. “That’s why he was the obvious choice to be our government’s first agriculture minister.”

The next election is expected in 2016.



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