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GFO and SeCan fund professorship in wheat breeding

July 8, 2013, Guelph, Ont. – The Grain Farmers of Ontario and SeCan are partnering to fund a professorship in wheat breeding in the department of plant agriculture at the University of Guelph. 

“This position was created to address the acute need for cereal breeding, especially winter wheat breeding, in Ontario,” explained Henry Van Ankum, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario, in a press release. 

Since 2010, Eastern Canada has lost through retirement all four permanent public wheat breeders who were conducting research in the province, two of whom were dedicated to winter wheat and whose research was critical to the establishment of winter wheat as a key crop in the province.

The new professor will focus the majority of their time on wheat breeding and also participate in the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee, which acts as a recommending body for cereal registration and coordinates cereal performance testing. He or she will also work to address key priorities for wheat producers, such as disease tolerance and resilience to factors like variable and extreme weather. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario says it expects the position to be filled in 2014.