University of Lethbridge receives research investment
By Potatoes in Canada
July 11, 2014, Alberta – A consortium of association and industry partners have invested $1 million in the University of Lethbridge toward establishing a chair in potato science.
The U of L will receive the funds over five years from the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA), McCain Foods, ConAgra Lamb Weston and Cavendish Farms.
“Growers and processors identified a need to expand research in this critical field,” said Terence Hochstein, the PGA’s executive director, in a press release. “There are only a handful of researchers dedicated to the discipline throughout western Canada and we expect this new chair will greatly enhance and complement the current capacity that exists.”
The university says it will immediately begin its search for a scientist with demonstrated experience in the potato industry. It will also be seeking a researcher who is able to collaborate with producers and industry partners.
In addition to building research capacity, Hochstein hopes that U of L graduate and undergraduate students benefit from the chair and that future capacity is created for the industry.
“One of the consortium’s long-term aspirations is that through student-research activities and related interactions, more agriculturally-focused students will consider a career in the potato industry,” says Hochstein. “While the potato industry is big business in Alberta, family farms continue to be a significant contributor to both seed and consumption potatoes.”
“The work done by this new chair will complement existing U of L agricultural research strengths like water, epigenetics and remote sensing,” says Dr. Lesley Brown, acting vice-president (research) at the U of L.
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