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Alberta’s RDAR in the startup phase


May 28, 2020
By Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions

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Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) is pleased to announce that it is now in the startup phase, paving the way for the establishment of a new vision for agriculture research in Alberta. The non-profit, farmer-led company will operate at arm’s length from the government of Alberta, and will determine and fund industry-wide research priorities that will enhance farmers’ competitive advantage.

RDAR recently held an initial series of outreach sessions with its key partners including:

  • Crop and livestock boards, commissions and associations;
  • Alberta’s network of applied research associations;
  • Universities, colleges and funding agencies;
  • Private companies engaged in agriculture research.

The sessions were aimed at introducing key partners to RDAR and establishing a platform for ongoing dialogue.

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RDAR’s approach is the result of government consultations, which revealed that farmers, in collaboration with other partners including scientists, educational institutions and private industry, are best positioned to determine research priorities.

The organization has been empowered by Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen to direct $37 million annually in provincial government funding, which will leverage significant co-funding from farmers, other governments and the private sector.

“RDAR’s farmer-led approach to research investment is ground breaking,” said David Chalack, RDAR’s interim board chair. “Through this new model we are recognizing that farmers are best suited to direct funds aimed at higher farm-gate profitability in collaboration with other key players. RDAR’s model will reform how we do research in Alberta.”

Gerald Hauer, former executive director of the Livestock and Crops Research branch with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has been named interim CEO of the new company. With the interim board of directors and interim management team now in place, one of its first tasks will be to establish an advisory committee structure that will further allow for cross-sector engagement in building and directing this new research funding company. The advisory model will include Alberta’s farmer boards, commissions and associations and applied research associations. RDAR’s business plan, governance and operating model are also under development.

“We look forward to establishing an advisory structure that includes a wide range of industry partners as part of our commitment to an open communications process with the Alberta agriculture industry at large,” Chalack said.

RDAR was established on an interim basis through a $2 million grant under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, administered by the Alberta Barley Commission, to support initial operations. The new non-profit company is expected to be incorporated and begin funding projects by fall 2020.

For more information on RDAR and its interim board and management team visit www.alberta.ca/results-driven-agriculture-research.aspx.