Ag Notes

Alberta students receive scholarships

The Canadian Foundation for Food and Agricultural Education has awarded two Alberta students with the 2020 Dr. Karl C. Ivarson Agricultural Scholarships.

Jessica Sperber received the $17,000 scholarship for PhD students.

She was raised on a fourth-generation commercial cow-calf and grain operation near Ponoka, Alta.

She is a PhD student in ruminant nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln researching beef cattle topics that incorporate production efficiency and sustainability.

David MacTaggart was raised in Alberta and receives the $10,000 scholarship for master’s students.

He was the top graduating student in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan in 2020, winning the undergraduate gold medal award.

He is now an MSc student in Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, with research focused on the development of drone-based tools to identify better breeding populations of meadow bromegrass and cicer milkvetch for stockpile grazing.

Mental health research needs volunteers

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is looking for volunteers to take part in a 30 to 60 minute phone interview for the Saskatchewan Farmer and Rancher Mental Health (FARMh) initiative.

The study will help identify challenges, as well as explore solutions to the mental health challenges farmers and ranchers may experience.

During phase one of the study, which runs until this fall, key features of a farm-culture friendly mental health support system for Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers will be identified.

The confidential interviews will focus on the participants’ ideas for effective mental health supports.

To participate in the study, farmers and ranchers must own or lease their farm or ranch and be working on their farm or ranch as well as living in Saskatchewan.

More information is available by contacting Michelle Pavloff, Sask Polytech research chair for rural health, at or 1-639-414-FARM (3276).

Ag safety group hires CEO

Andrea Lear is the new chief executive officer at the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.

Lear’s appointment follows the retirement of Marcel Hacault, who assumed the position of executive director in 2004.

Her formative years were spent on a Manitoba hobby farm, where she developed an appreciation for the agriculture’s community and culture.

Previous work experience includes executive director at the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association.


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