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RDAR announces research priorities

RDAR announces research priorities

The not-for-profit organization will focus research in four areas

Staff Writer

Representatives from Results Drive Agriculture Research (RDAR) recently announced their initial research priorities.

They focus on four areas: enhanced productivity, profitability and competitiveness; sustainable and responsible agriculture; market demands; and extension and knowledge transfer.

RDAR’s interim board worked with a 50-member advisory committee to develop these priorities, said Dr. Stanford Blade. He is the chair of RDAR’s research committee.

The advisory committee included 12 applied research and forage associations, 20 marketing boards and commissions, seven post-secondary institutions and 11 industry associations.

“They really are the people who are responsible and the people to thank for pulling all of this together. Of course, the research committee has also been involved and now the full interim board has endorsed these four priorities. But it truly has been a very consultative process throughout just as we had promised,” he told

While these initial priorities are what research will centre on for now, the RDAR board intends to update the priorities as needed, said Blade.

“These (priorities) are certainly not written in stone. We will continue to consult with our advisory committee on many other topics. We will continue to test these (priorities) to ensure that they are evergreen. So that, in case new issues or opportunities arise, we can make sure that they are also identified in the RDAR research priorities,” he said.

Each priority could encapsulate various elements along the food value chain that could use research funding, said Blade.

“Whether it's in early work on genomics, genetics and breeding all the way through to those novel food products that can use Alberta-grown commodities – that's the intent of this. The final metric really is the profitability and competitiveness of our producers and the entire agri-food chain. We're confident these research priorities, as we start to invest in particular areas, will certainly feed that innovation pipeline,” said Blade.

RDAR representatives will accept research proposals this fall.

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