Farming Smarter is a policy governed, non-profit organization with by-laws under the Alberta Societies Act. It is also a Canadian Charity registered under the Canada Revenue Agency. Their farming related projects and programs access funds from numerous sources including research grants, foundations, industry, partners, and all levels of government.

The speaker will argue, and many people tend to agree, that applied agri-food research is very important. Yet, funding is a big issue. Rarely have significant government investments been made available and future funding is uncertain. The research Farming Smarter does may not be the most attractive, but it’s the type farmers at field level most value. The fact that Farming Smarter works for farmers and not corporate interests, increases the trust among producers that the information they are getting, is more than just an advertisement for the latest product available.

For the family farm to survive, research, innovation and funding of such will be a main challenge going forward. Among other issues facing farmers are, Canada’s Agricultural Climate Solutions Program, which aims to encourage farmers to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use 30 percent by 2030, first by incentives and later, some kind of regulations. For context, between 2005 and 2019, fertilizer application increased by 71 percent in Canada, primarily driven by more fertilizer use in Western Canada. Over the same period, N2O emissions from fertilizer use in Canada increased by 54 percent.

Speaker: Ken Coles

Ken Coles leads Farming Smarter as Executive Director. Contact him if you want to know anything about anything, offer Farming Smarter money, suggest ways your organization can enter a win/win situation or develop mutually beneficial streams of income. Ken works closely with and listens to his staff. Therefore, yes, he knows what farming issues are.

Ken’s passions include the practical application of science and critical thinking, effective leadership, communication and dialogue, strategic relationships and having a little fun along the way. He is focused on agriculture research and educated himself for the job with a Chemistry Degree from University of Lethbridge and a Master’s of Science, Environment and Management from Royal Roads University.

Through Monsanto Canada Inc., Lethbridge Research Center, Alberta Pool Research and Development, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ken became a research manager and organizational leader. He then joined Southern Applied Research Association and created Farming Smarter - Alberta’s leading crop research institution. Ken is a 2022 Nuffield Canada Scholar and farms mixed grains on irrigated land near Coaldale, AB.

Date/time: Thursday, September 29, 2022 from 12 noon to 1 pm. The venue room will be available by 11:15 am.

Cost: Free, but donations are gratefully accepted

Location: Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization (LSCO) Atrium Dining Room, 500 - 11 Street South, Lethbridge, AB

Please arrive early to patronize the LSCO cafeteria and enjoy their excellent variety of good value food option

Session Video

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