& Job Opportunities News
Animal Welfare Strategic
A part of the Canadian Agri-Science Clusters Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Growing Forward Policy Framework.
News and Updates
- NEW!! Last July, we began coordination of Canada’s next Organic Science Cluster (OSCII) in collaboration with the Organic Federation of Canada and the Organic Value Chain Roundtable. The process involved a strategic call for letters of intent, an extensive review of research relevance and potential impact and stakeholder involvement, an invitation for researchers to submit full proposals, and finally a scientific peer review to evaluate the proposals for scientific merit.
Finally, at the end of March we submitted the full application to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, covering a wide range of subject areas, capturing opportunities and addressing barriers in the sector. The final submission of 2,500 pages of documentation included collaborations among over 200 scientists at over 30 research stations/universities, letters of support from 100 collaborating stakeholders, and 115 letters of endorsement.
We understand that the program we have applied to is highly competitive, so now we wait to hear a decision from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which may take a couple of months. It is a very exciting time for organic science in Canada.
- Over 100 letters of intent were submitted for the recent call for research ideas for the next national organic science initiative, Organic Science Cluster II (OSCII). OSCII is managed and coordinated by the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) in the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture in collaboration with the Organic Federation of Canada as the industry applicant and under the guidance of a national Steering Committee within Canada’s Organic Value Chain Roundtable.
OACC Director Dr. Andy Hammermeister indicates that the proposed research spans most of agriculture, ranging from studies in soil management, crop breeding and production and pest control for crops grown across Canada, to environmental, market, social sciences, value adding and food processing research. New research initiatives in organic aquaculture and ornamental horticulture (even Christmas trees) have also been proposed.
The letters of intent list over 270 collaborating researchers spanning 59 government (12), university (22) and industry institutions or organizations (25). The list includes 95 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers from research stations right across Canada.
Industry support for this program is essential to ensure the research has impact, as well as for leveraging AAFC funds. There has been a tremendous stakeholder response to the this program as they see the need, value and opportunity associated with organic research.
Now, the Steering Committee, chaired by Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture’s Dr. Derek Lynch, will review the letters of intent to make sure they fit with the organic sector’s strategic priorities before moving on to the full proposal stage.
This initiative has clearly demonstrated a shift in researcher interest in low input, sustainable agricultural systems that fit under a regulated production system driven by consumer demand. For more information about the science of organic agriculture visit: www.oacc.info.
- Please stay tuned for the latest news and information about Canada's Organic Science Cluster II.