Ag notes

Agricultural review board member reappointed

Bruce La Rochelle has been re-appointed to the Canada Agricultural Review. The appointment is for three years.

The tribunal consists of members appointed by the federal government.

Sask. PC party hires

Stuart Esson is the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan’s new executive director.

Esson, a former teacher, has served on Students Against Drinking and Driving’s provincial board of directors and the provincial executive for the Saskatchewan Association of Computer Educators. He has also served as chair of the Prelate Co-operative and as secretary-treasurer for the South West Athletic Conference.

Organic snack gets funding

Riverside Natural Foods in Vaughan, Ont., is receiving a $782,000 loan from the federal government’s Agrilnnovation program to help commercialize its organic snack food.

The money will buy new equipment to produce healthy organic bars and snacks.

The family owned company uses a moulding and dehydration process to create snack bars that will remain whole without the use of sugar binders.

It’s expected the process will increase the demand for agricultural products such as oats, blueberries and flax, in addition to adding 31 full-time jobs on the company’s production line.

Consumer demand for healthier snacks is on the rise. Canada’s food processing sector had export sales of more than $25.4 billion in 2013.

Scholarships awarded

The Alberta Wheat Commission has awarded two post-secondary scholarships to students at the University of Alberta.

Breanne Tidemann, a doctoral candidate in agronomy and weed science, has been awarded $10,000, and undergraduate student Kathryn Wyering received a $1,000 award for the crop science program.

Tidemann is investigating harvest weed seed control and evaluating its potential use in Western Canada.

The undergraduate scholarship is part of the wheat commission’s annual investment of $27,000 in the U of A in the form of an endowment.

The University of Lethbridge also received $25,000, which will be administered under the same structure. It will announce the inaugural recipient of the undergraduate award in the fall.

Graduate students at the U of A will also be able to apply for the wheat commission’s $10,000 scholarship in future years.

Lamb organization hires

Christa Winsnes is Alberta Lamb Producers’ new executive director.

Winsnes grew up on a farm and is now part of a family cattle operation.

Brochures All about beef

Karen Schmid, beef production specialist at Alberta Beef Producers, is working on a series of brochures with the Beef Cattle Research Council to dispel myths and answer questions about beef.

The first brochure, called Worried about hormones in beef? should be ready by the end of the year.

It has a scientific background but provides information in easy to read graphics and quick message bites.

The brochure describes growth promoting hormones and talks about how all plants, animals and humans have naturally occurring hormones in their systems, such as estrogen.

The plan is to create a full series of brochures about topics in the beef industry and how they affect the public.

The packages will be offered at trade shows and other events where producers talk with non-farming consumers.

Schmid also hopes other provincial beef organizations join Alberta so that they can share resources and distribute them across the country.

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