Governments of Canada and Manitoba invest in college’s field to fork program

Fruit and Veg magazine
March 03, 2019
By Fruit and Veg magazine
The Canadian and Manitoba governments are providing $950,000 over five years in Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding to the Assiniboine Community College (ACC) for their Field to Fork initiative.

This funding will be used to support research focused on horticulture crop development and product extension for their Field to Fork applied research program. Field to Fork is a collection of initiatives through Assiniboine that concentrated on strengthening the local food chain through education, research and outreach.

The knowledge and expertise developed and expanded through the college’s Horticulture Production and Food Sustainability programs, led by faculty researchers, significantly increase the field, greenhouse and agri-processing research capacity required for Manitoba’s unique fruit and vegetable industries.

“We are proud that this funding will increase the competitive position of the Manitoba horticulture industry, while working to support and increase domestic processing and export capacity. This funding will ensure that Manitoba’s horticulture industry will continue to benefit from the research being undertaken by Assiniboine Community College, to keep Manitoba producers on the leading edge of growing our agri-food sector," said Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Agriculture Minister.

The Field to Fork initiative also helps to shape curriculum for students enrolled in horticultural production, sustainable food systems, and the culinary arts programs at Assiniboine, with applied research projects and other hands-on learning opportunities for students.

Some of the research projects currently underway at Assiniboine include building capacity in northern and remote communities in Canada through sustainable greenhouse energy models, assessing and determining the most viable varieties of sweet potatoes for commercial production in Manitoba, and finding effective ways to combat botrytis neck rot in commercially-grown onions.

The five-year, $3 billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership includes $2 billion for cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories and $1 billion for federal programs and services.

“Agriculture continues to be an area of program leadership at our college. We are thrilled to have the support of the provincial and federal government to continue the important and meaningful applied research work underway by our talented faculty members. These Field to Fork projects will pay dividends to students and communities for years to come," said Mark Frison, president of Assiniboine Community College.

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