The Canadian and Manitoba governments are providing $950,000 over five years to Assiniboine Community College (ACC), to support research focused on horticulture crop development and product extension for its Field to Fork applied research program.
Field to Fork is a collection of initiatives through ACC that concentrated on strengthening the local food chain through education, research and outreach.
“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,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “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.”
The knowledge and expertise developed and expanded through the college’s Horticulture Production and Food Sustainability programs, led by faculty researchers, significantly increases the field, greenhouse and agri-processing research capacity required for Manitoba’s unique fruit and vegetable industries. 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 ACC, with applied research projects and other hands-on learning opportunities for students.
“Agriculture continues to be an area of program leadership at our college,” said Mark Frison, president, Assiniboine Community 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.”
Some of the research projects currently underway at ACC 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.
Funding is flowing through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.