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Agriculture now recognized as a priority for Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy

December 5, 2014 - In a news release issued in early December, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) says it is pleased to see that agriculture is included in the newly released Science and Technology Strategy for Canada. The future success of this large and impactful industry, says the release, is dependent upon a focus on science and innovation. New research is critical to ensuring productivity advances are possible and allows modern agriculture to continue to contribute to the growth of Canada’s economy.
 
“Agriculture is rooted in science,” says Mark Wales, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council Chair.  Producers have achieved record productivity gains and modern agricultural efficiencies that help the environment due to research and innovation.  Now that agriculture is included within the Science and Technology Strategy, it is recognized as an Industry Canada priority.  This is important for the future of Canadian producers, our agriculture industry, and the future workers we will need for our operations.”  
 
“Agriculture and agri-food is an exciting career choice and innovation is an important part of the agriculture and agri-food industry,” says Portia Macdonald-Dewhirst, Executive Director of the Council.  “This recognition within the Science and Technology Strategy highlights the high level of skill required for agriculture and agri-food workers today.”
 
“To take advantage of the productivity gains through science and innovation, more highly skilled workers will be needed,” says Doug Chorney, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council Vice-Chair.  “We have a lot of successes in agriculture and improvement in our modern agriculture production practices is directly connected to technology and research advancements. Access to agriculture labour, however, remains one of the biggest limiting factors to productivity gains for the industry.”
 
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council conducts labour market research and is responsible for the implementation of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Action Plan, a road map for addressing critical labour shortages within the industry.  The report states labour shortages are pervasive across all agriculture and agri-food commodities, affecting current operational success and future growth potential.
 
“Producers and industry from all regions across the agriculture and agri-food value chain are coming together through the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Action Plan to collectively address worker shortages in the industry,” says MacDonald-Dewhirst. “We are working together as industry professionals to showcase that this is an exciting time to work within the agriculture and agri-food industry, a place where research and innovation connect to feed the world and build a better Canada.”