OMAFRA and U of G continue collaboration in ag innovation
By Kate Ayers
Today, Jeff Leal, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, announced the renewal of a long-standing partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the University of Guelph (U of G).
“The Government of Ontario will be investing over $713 million to ensure we are able to continue to build the most innovative and competitive agriculture and food system the world has ever known,” Leal said.
The renewed partnership helps ensure that the city of Guelph remains the agricultural hub of Ontario.
“We have ag governments, ag education and ag research. We have ag laboratories (as well as) a lot of ag stakeholders and organizations,” Liz Sandals, MPP Guelph, said at the announcement.
The joint efforts of both OMAFRA and U of G are “so important to the evolution of agriculture and ag innovation.”
The agreement is even more meaningful since it was signed on Canada’s second annual Agricultural Day.
“It is investments like the one that we are announcing today that have made the University of Guelph the number one university in Canada for agricultural science. As you know, our government’s partnership with the University of Guelph is steeped in a rich history of well over 100 years,” Leal said during his speech.
“Our partnership is responsible for countless innovations and contributions to agri-food research on a global stage. This long-standing partnership has helped to attract the brightest and best students and scientists from around the world, creating countless good jobs in Ontario.”
The renewed partnership will focus on developing strategic advancements to achieve the best in food safety, as well as protecting environmental, animal, plant and human health.
The continued OMAFRA and U of G “partnership … will help to develop the solutions that will be needed for our agri-food sector to succeed but will (also) spearhead the change we know the future will soon demand,” Leal said.
The ongoing collaborative efforts will drive research and innovation to find ways to feed 9 billion people by 2050.
Graduate and undergraduate students will also acquire the tools and skills they need to serve as the next generation of Canada’s ag sector.
Leal made the announcement today at the University of Guelph’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory alongside Sandals, Dr. Alison Duncan, a nutritional sciences professor at U of G, Dr. Franco Vaccarino, University of Guelph’s president, and Cam Guthrie, the mayor of Guelph.