AG Notes: August 4, 2016

Ontario Agricultural College names new dean

Rene Van Acker has been appointed dean of the Ontario Agricultural College for a five-year term effective Sept. 1.

Van Acker is now the college’s associate dean for external relations and a professor in the plant agriculture department.

He is considered a leading expert on weed management and biosafety and has continued to teach and research while holding administrative positions.

Previous work includes assistant professor in the University of Manitoba’s plant science department and an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University since 2014.

Canadian Pork Excellence introduced in Japan

The Canadian Pork Council and Canada Pork International recently introduced the Canadian Pork Excellence program to Japanese industry and government representatives.

The revised program is the foundation for the Verified Canadian Pork initiative that CPI launched earlier this year. It brings together the on-farm food safety, biosecurity, animal care and traceability programs under one platform.

Japan is Canada’s second-largest pork market with close to $1 billion in sales.

Funding to help raise gluten-free awareness

The Canadian Celiac Association will receive more than $500,000 in federal funding to increase awareness and enhance access to Canadian sources of gluten-free grain.

The money will help build improved standards, systems and tools for manufacturers to reliably deliver safe gluten-free food.

The association will develop a voluntary certification standard for gluten-free grain, which will include visual identification tools for grain millers, good management practices for oat producers and sampling and testing protocols for gluten-free certification, both on-farm and post-farm.

One in 133 Canadians suffer from celiac disease, and a gluten-free diet is the only accepted treatment.

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