What was formally the AgTEch Centre in Lethbridge Alberta has been given a new name and renewed focus.
The Farm Stewardship Centre in Lethbridge provides a renewed focus on applied research, evaluation and implementation of new methods and technology aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of farming and food production.
“Established in the 1980s, the Lethbridge research facility continues to evolve to meet the needs of the agriculture sector. Under its new mandate, the centre is undertaking projects that range from the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions linked to fertilizer to developing systems that improve water and energy use on farms.” Says Virginia Nelson, Director of Engineering and Climate Services.
Strengthening environmental stewardship practices is crucial to the responsible growth of a strong and sustainable agriculture sector that will help further diversify the Alberta economy. The staff at the centre work closely with producers, commodity groups and the research community to explore innovative approaches to grow food and care for the environment.
The long-term success of the agriculture industry relies on Alberta continuing to show leadership in sustainable and environmentally responsible development. The Farm Stewardship Centre is a resource for agriculture producers to help them make informed decisions about how to best manage their operations.
The work at the centre will complement other government initiatives including Growing Forward 2, which are designed to support the development of a sustainable and competitive agriculture industry.
Through the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 program, producers and agri-businesses have access to funding to support advances in animal health, food safety, market access, value-added industry development and environmental stewardship.
Forgive me, but it’s difficult to remain optimistic and to view the glass as half full in frequently, inconsistently, variably, and still not so bright and sunny Alberta! Oh yes, and you can add to that, often bitterly cold and just about always windy Alberta! Bah! Humbug! :-(
Edmonton@ 0910 h on May 05, 2014
Edmonton@ 1345 h on June 09, 2014
Speaking of precipitation (water), the regional chapter (CSBE Alberta) recently hosted its second lecture series on the said theme entitled, ″Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy and the Role of Bioresource Engineering″. This event was held on June 4th in Calgary on a beautiful, sunny, +20 oC day (only to return to Edmonton that evening at 9 oC and a torrential downpour).
As mentioned earlier, CSBE Alberta inaugural lecture entitled, ″Bioresource Engineering - Advancing Alberta's Bioenergy Platform ″ was held on January 28th in Edmonton - for biased reasons a weather report for that day has been excluded - J. The Edmonton lecture featured Dr. Stanford Blade with Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions. His lecture was on ″Making Choices: Investing in the Alberta Bioeconomy ″. The second speaker was Ms. Kelly Maher who presented on ″Biorefining & Bioindustrial R&D in Alberta ″. Ms. Maher is with the Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) at the University of Alberta. The third speaker, Ms. Susan Carlisle, with the provincial Ministry of Energy gave a presentation on ″Alberta Policy Context for Bioenergy″. Again this event was well attended and boasted participants from across Alberta from provincial and municipal governments, forestry industry, universities and colleges, research organizations, and private consultants. If you are interested in one or all the presentations from the bioenergy lecture series, please contact Ike Edeogu for an e-copy.
Well, that’s it for now. I am off to figure out how I can get out of ″winter mode″ both physically and psychologically! It might be time for a spatial change! Speaking of which, I look forward to seeing you in Montreal in SUMMER - next month!
Until next time, au revoir!
The CSBE, Alberta Region, will be hosting its inaugural lecture series on January 28, 2014. You are cordially invited to attend this event.
Ho Ho Ho! Tis’ the season for a CSBE regional update!
Once upon a time, Prince Charming and his lovely wife, Snow White… Hey, hey, hold on a second here! What’s going on? I must confess, I am hooked on the television series “Once Upon a Time”. It’s about fairy tale characters, like Little Red Riding Hood (btw, she’s not so little anymore), Rumpelstiltskin, etc., who have been transported via a curse to our world. No pun intended. And so the saga continues. I started watching it with my kid and wife and now I can’t wait for the next episode! Sure brings back nostalgic childhood memories! J
Enough distractions and let’s get on with the business of the region. The last few months have gone by rather quickly. One moment our regional news articles are being posted in the summer edition of the Perspectives Newsletter, and the next, we receive notice that the deadline to submit our fall articles is upon us. Yikes! The good news is that there’s been plenty abuzz in snowy, but not so bright and sunny Alberta!
With each passing day, the subject of bioenergy (including biofuel) research, development and commercialization stands out as one of the definite flavours of our time - with hints of agricultural, biological, bioresource, biosystems, chemical and other engineering disciplines ingrained indelibly within. September saw the City of Calgary host the 2013 Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC 2013), entitled “Food, Water and Energy for a Hungry World”. Apparently, it boasted a contingent of participants from industry, research, academia and government, all exploring the role of agricultural biotechnology in agriculture and energy. Of course being an international conference, guest speakers and panelists were invited from as far as New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Australia, the UK, Cayman Islands, Ireland, across the US and Canada. Incidentally, one of the guest speakers on the program was Dr. David Lynch, Dean of Engineering, University of Alberta.
Dr. David Bressler with the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, received a Spinoff Achievement Award from TEC Edmonton in October. Dr. Bressler was instrumental in developing a University of Alberta company that specializes in commercializing technology that converts various biomaterial feedstock, including agricultural feedstock of all types, into renewable fuels. Dr. Bressler is a Professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutritional Science and Executive Director of the Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN). His field of study is bio/food engineering and he was an active organizer of the 2006 CSBE AGM and Conference held in Edmonton.
Speaking of the BCN, the network held its 2013 Annual Strategic Retreat, entitled ″Breaking Ground in Alberta’s Bioindustry″, in Banff in November. Topics covered included:
Our very own CSBE member, Dr. Amit Kumar (Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta; Cenovus Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering; and NSERC/Cenovus/Alberta Innovates Associate Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering) was one of the panelists on the third topic. Dr. Kumar’s current research interests are in the techno-economic assessment of bioenergy systems (biopower and biofuels); large scale biomass transport and logistics (e.g., pipeline transport of biomass, simulation and modeling of biomass feedstock supply systems); greenhouse gas mitigation; and energy forecasting and planning.
Coincidentally, our region will be hosting its inaugural CSBE Alberta Annual Lecture Series, "Bioresource Engineering - Advancing Alberta’s Bioenergy Platform” on January 28, 2014, at the University of Alberta Faculty Club. While arrangements are still being finalized, we hope to feature speakers from Alberta Energy, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and the Faculty of Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta. Details about the luncheon lecture will be posted in the weeks to come.
Well then, that’s it for this year. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the best of 2014! Um… if you happen to come across Snow White’s evil stepmother in your travels, could you please let her know I’ve got a score to settle with her. Happy viewing! J
2nd Annual Strategic Retreat
November 7 - 9, 2010
“Refining Technology for Biomass Conversion: Conventional Products through Unconventional Approaches”
The Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) is holding their Second Annual Strategic Retreat November 7-9, 2010 at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Based out of the University of Alberta, the BCN aims to advance the bioindus-trial sector in Alberta by strategically aligning research activities in the area of biorefining conversions to accelerate technology development and implementation, facilitating collaborative partnerships between all levels of academia, industry, and government providing an innovative space to develop concepts with easy access to a large pool of ex-pertise and resources. We aim to bridge an indentified gap in the innovation chain between feedstock supply and product distribution.
The Canadian Triticale Biorefinery Initiative (CTBI) is developing triticale as a dedicated bio-industrial crop for Canada. Triticale is a man-made hybrid of wheat and rye which produces significant biomass material which could be used to produce chemicals, bio-based materials, fuel and energy. CTBI’s mission is to create industrial bioproducts and processes to establish triticale as an economically sustainable and key component of locally established biorefineries.
The 4th annual Canadian Triticale Biorefinery Initiative (CTBI) workshop, organized by the CTBI management team, was held at Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures in Edmonton, Alberta from April 20 to 22, 2010. It was a successful workshop which was well attended by the science contributors and industry representatives. The first day focused on business opportunities in three value chains and the future of crop development. Following days highlighted the three CTBI contributing institutions in Edmonton, as site visits; and series of science presentations where new discoveries and progress were reported. Feedback received from attendees was very positive, it was felt that there were great networking, science and business discussions.