Exciting News for Alberta Research Associations

On July 14, 2022 the Honourable Marie Claude Bibeau announced the creation of nine new Living Labs across Canada, with three in Alberta. These three new Living Labs programs will be working cooperatively with a number of the Alberta Research Associations, Universities and Colleges across the province.

Each living lab will focus on identifying innovative technologies and on-farm management practices that can be adopted by farmers to tackle climate change. The solutions developed will also help protect biodiversity on farms, improve water and soil quality, and, through the efficient management of resources, strengthen farmers’ bottom lines.

They bring together farmers, scientists and other stakeholders to co-develop, test and monitor new practices and technologies in a real-life context, breaking down barriers between research and practice on the farm.

Where the previous initiatives tackled a wide range of environmental issues, the new ACS-Living Labs program focuses on reducing greenhouse gases and sequestering carbon.

The Peace Region Forage and Seed Association, Alberta Beef Producers, and the Alberta Conservation Association are hard at work with project planning and development. The PRFSA will be working within both Alberta and British Columbia to tackle issues around cover cropping, intercropping, and native forage seed production.

The Alberta Conservation Association Living Lab will be looking a whole farm integration of BMPs and their impact on soil carbon.

Alberta Beef Producers are working in cooperation with a number of commodity commissions to look at crop and grazing rotations, livestock feeding, nutrient management, and carbon sequestration.

These three Living Labs will be working directly with eleven applied research and forage associations across the province to ensure that regional data is collected and the on-farm practices are practical under a variety of both soil and climactic zones.

It is a very exciting time for agricultural producers in Alberta!

ARECA (Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta) supports a network of applied research and extension associations to connect to program, services, innovations, and research to improve the profitability and sustainability of their farm business. ARECA https://www.areca.ca/home is the home of the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan and the AB Farm Mental Health Network.

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