The Ministry recognizes the need to attract and retain highly qualified scientists and researchers to ensure that Saskatchewan has the capacity and depth to develop new agricultural knowledge and technologies relevant to our climatic conditions. To address this significant challenge, the Ministry has created 15 Strategic Research Program (SRP) Chairs at the University of Saskatchewan and the Western Beef Development Centre, each consisting of a scientist and a technician. Each chair represents an area of strategic importance where Saskatchewan previously lacked intellectual capacity. In addition to these chairs, the Ministry has also created three endowed chairs and four Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF) Chairs to complement and strengthen the expertise at the University of Saskatchewan.
The Strategic Research Program focuses on four theme areas:
- Crop Genetic Improvement –hyperlink to each page
- Livestock Development
- Food and Bioproducts Development
- Soils and Environment
In addition to these chairs, the Ministry has also created three endowed chairs and four Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF) Chairs to complement and strengthen the expertise at the University of Saskatchewan.
Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF) Chairs
- Dr. Vladimir Vujanovic - AFIF Chair in Agricultural Microbiology and Bioproducts;
- Dr. Ken Van Rees - AFIF Chair in Agroforestry and Afforestation;
- Dr. Bunyamin Tar'an - AFIF Chair in Chickpea; and
- Dr. Murray Woodbury - AFIF Chair in Specialized Livestock Research and Development Program
Dr. Rex Newkirk – Chair in:
Feed Processing Technology (Program Framework)
Feed represents the largest single cost factor (65 per cent) in animal production. Advancements in feed processing technology have the ability to reduce this cost through a number of distinct avenues including improving feed quality and nutritional value, decreasing the cost of production and increasing the utilization of local feed ingredients. Combined, these benefits could translate beyond pure economic benefits to positively impact the environment, animal health and food quality. This program leverages the Feeds Innovation Institute and the strong core of expertise within the Department of Animal and Poultry Science stand to benefit substantially from a strong research program focused on feed processing. This program leverages the Feeds Innovation.
Carbohydrate Quality and Utilization (Program Framework)
Saskatchewan has a major cereal, pulse, oilseed, and special crops industry, producing high quality grains mainly for export as primary commodities. In recent years, the focus has shifted to add more value prior to shipping. Significant potential exists for developing and supporting a value-added processing industry utilizing plant carbohydrates and their derivatives for food (including functional foods and nutraceuticals), feed and industrial bioproducts. Research and development in carbohydrate quality and utilization will make a significant contribution to this effort.
Bioprocess Engineering (Program Framework)
The Bioprocess Engineering Program is designed to support the development and enhancement of biotechnological processes that optimize biological product yield and the quality of end products. The Program will partner with other SRP Chairs and local bioprocessing businesses in designing processes to scale up production of end products in order to enhance the processing of grains, oilseeds, pulses, cereal and oilseed straw (fibre), and crop residue.
The program in bioprocess engineering is expected to make a significant contribution to the development, refinement and adoption of new methods that generate higher value products from Saskatchewan agricultural products.