Top Crop Manager

Manitoba revamps strategy for agricultural research

The Manitoba government appointed nine members to the newly formed Manitoba Agriculture Research and Innovation Committee (MARIC), Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced on June 11, 2018. 

June 12, 2018  By Top Crop Manager

The committee will provide analysis and recommendations on strategic investments in agricultural research. MARIC will assess and make funding recommendations related to research proposals submitted over the next five years. Current priority areas include grain innovation, livestock production, agri-resource management, processing and value-added, and market development.

The following individuals have been appointed to MARIC on a two-year term:

  • Joanne Buth (Winnipeg) will serve as chairperson. She is currently the CEO of the Canadian International Grains Institute. 
  • Betty Green (Fisher Branch) will serve as vice chairperson. Green is provincial coordinator of the verified beef production program. Green is a partner in the G7 Ranch managing 10,000 acres and a 1,000-head beef herd at G7 ranch with her husband and son.
  • Francois Labelle (Carman) is the executive director of Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers.
  • Dr. Allan Preston (Hamiota) is the president of Preston Stock Farms and chair of the Veterinary Services Commission. 
  • Trust Beta (Winnipeg) is a food science professor and Canada Research Chair. Her research focuses span plant polyphenols, carbohydrate chemistry and antioxidants in food and their effect on human health.
  • Kim Ominski (Winnipeg) is a professor and associate head of animal sciences at the University of Manitoba.
  • Gary Plohman (Beausejour) is the former vice-chair of the Manitoba Livestock Manure and Management Initiative. He is a consultant with expertise in livestock facility and nutrient management. 
  • William (Bill) Ashton (Brandon) is the director of the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University.
  • Bruce Hardy (Winnipeg) is president of the Myera Group and Function Four Ltd. leading innovation in food production systems. 

Committee members will also be responsible for developing and maintaining a provincial strategic plan for agricultural research and supporting research extension and communication with provincial, national and international stakeholders.


The minister noted the creation of this committee meets the government’s broader commitment to streamline and reduce the number of appointments, boards and committees.  MARIC replaces advisory committees related to the previous federal-provincial-territorial framework, Growing Forward 2, as well as those connected to the province’s Grain Innovation Hub, Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative Inc., and the Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel.  This consolidation is expected to create savings of approximately $500,000 per year, while also reducing administrative burdens for researchers.


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