By Roberta Rampton, Western Producer
These days, it’s rare to get an agricultural research grant with few strings attached and no matching funds from an industry partner.
Researchers involved with a new pesticide-free production project say they give credit to the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council for giving them a break.
The council, made up mainly of rural Manitobans and farmers, usually requires matching funds when it gives grants.
“The MRAC board has taken a leap of faith here,” said Martin Entz, a scientist involved with the project.
The researchers are still looking for other sources of money, but say the council’s grant of $600,000 will help them start their work.
This is the largest grant ever given by the council in its three-year history, said chair Les Jacobson.
But the council believes that when farmers can add value to their production, rural Manitoba prospers and so will the province, he said.
“Where else would they go for this kind of funding?” said Jacobson, a farmer from Arborg, Man.
Other council grants announced last week include:
- $170,400 to the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute and partners in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to develop harvesting equipment for sea buckthorn.
- $100,000 to the Manitoba Sheep Association to expand sheep production in the province.
- $77,712 to the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association to promote investment and expansion in the beef industry here.
- $77,000 to the Manitoba Bison Association to promote expansion and educate consumers about bison meat.
- $54,000 to a grass seed industry consortium and the University of Manitoba to test ways to commercialize a native grass seed.
- $25,000 to Plant Pathways Inc. to refine a new technology used to produce hardy roses.
- $20,000 to Hemp Oil Canada to determine the best ways to eliminate minute traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from hemp seed food products.
- $10,795 to Blanshard-Hamiota Soil Savers for research plots of annual crops used for silage.
- $6,630 to Sunridge Forage in Russell, Man., to develop a better way to handle and store medium and large square forage bales.
- $3,400 to Crawley Farms of Clanwilliam, Man., to measure how cattle perform when they graze corn during the winter.
- $1,250 to Tag A Long Red Angus farm of Brookdale, Man., to demonstrate on-farm semen collection and storage to other farmers.
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