Acadia Looks Forward to Strengthened Agricultural Research Capacity in the Valley

Formal merger discussions between Dalhousie and NSAC will include exploration by Province of partnerships with Acadia and Kentville Research Station


Acadia University welcomed today’s announcement by the Province of Nova Scotia that it will begin formal discussions about the future of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and its relationship with Dalhousie University and Acadia.  The Province’s Minister of Agriculture, John MacDonell, emphasized the importance of maintaining and expanding jobs in Nova Scotia’s agriculture and agri-food sectors and capitalizing on the knowledge and research strengths of Acadia and the Kentville Research Station.
 
“Including a review of opportunities for agricultural growth in the Annapolis Valley is good news for the research triangle concept that is being developed by the Kings Regional Development Agency,” said Ray Ivany, President of Acadia University. “A research triangle that capitalizes on the agriculture and agri-food research capacity at Acadia, the Kentville Research Station, NSAC and Dalhousie will be a tremendous economic asset to the Valley and the Province. Many of our local producers are innovation leaders and Acadia’s research capacity in key fields such as pest management and water quality will help strengthen our provincial position as a national centre of excellence in applied research and innovation.”
 
“I’m extremely pleased that the Government of Nova Scotia is thinking so creatively and synergistically about the sterling opportunity that we have to become a leader in agricultural biotechnology through a smart collaboration between the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Acadia University, and the Kentville Agricultural Research Centre,” said Stephen Kerr, Executive Director of the Kings Regional Development Agency.   “The global population explosion and damaging effects of climate change on our food supply are conspiring to create one of the greatest intellectual and practical challenges that humanity has ever faced.  Adapting the narrow range of crops on which we rely, without further damaging our environment, will require an aggressive focus on plant genetics.  If we adequately fund a research triangle comprised of these three capable, energetic enterprises, Nova Scotia can launch not only a profound scientific endeavour, but also begin the incubation of a substantial agricultural biotechnology industry in rural Kings and Cumberland Counties.”
 
The research triangle being proposed by Kings RDA would be a centre of genetic research excellence and business incubator based at the Kentville Research Station and Acadia. It would combine the faculty research capacity at Acadia and NSAC with the scientists who work at the Research Station to create a critical mass of scientists who could attract public and private research funds and lead the development of marketable processes and products in agriculture and agri-food. Proximity to an array of well-established producers in the Valley and the emerging Nova Scotia grape and wine industry make a research triangle feasible and the benefits of this form of economic activity are in the range of 400 high wage jobs. Members of Acadia’s faculty are currently performing research on agriculturally-related issues such as wine and grape production, pesticide-free pest management, water treatment and agricultural waste management.
 
About Acadia
Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier post-secondary institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate research initiatives, small classes and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development. Acadia also offers distance learning, certificate programs, language training and other university extension programs through Open Acadia. For more information about Acadia University, visit our website at www.acadiau.ca.


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