New Alta. ag research group takes root

A non-profit, farmer-led company responsible for doling out cash for agriculture research in Alberta has entered the start-up phase.

Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) announced today that by the fall, it will begin directing $37 million annually to fund research.

The dollars will come directly from government.

“RDAR’s farmer-led approach to research investment is groundbreaking,” said David Chalack, RDAR’s interim board chair, in the news release.

“Through this new model we are recognizing that farmers are best suited to direct funds aimed at higher farmgate profitability in collaboration with other key players. RDAR’s model will reform how we do research in Alberta,” he said.

RDAR has held outreach sessions with industry groups to establish a platform.

The change comes as the province changes agriculture research. In 2019, it held consultations with farmers and industry groups to see how research should be governed.

Gerald Hauer, former executive director of the Livestock and Crops Research branch with Alberta Agriculture, has been named interim chief executive officer of the new company.

RDAR plans to establish an advisory committee structure. It said it will allow farmers and industry to engage with the company.

Alberta’s farmer boards, commissions and associations, and applied research associations will be part of the advisory model.

As well, RDAR’s business plan, governance and operating model are under development.

Contact jeremy.simes@producer.com

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