Ontario is transferring the operating and research programming of the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station to Lakehead University to help foster innovation and strengthen Ontario’s competitive edge by expanding agri-food research in Northern Ontario.
Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro made the announcement Friday at the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station.
The partnership with Lakehead University will support the long-term sustainability of the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station while increasing the university’s capacity to build new programming and research that will benefit Northern Ontario.
The investment builds on the province’s efforts to develop a sustainable, co-ordinated plan to expand agriculture in Northern Ontario, such as the Northern Livestock Pilot and field crop and beef research in New Liskeard.
“I am pleased with today’s funding announcement of $1.65 million, from the province, to Lakehead University as it brings the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station under its administration through the creation of the Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station,” said Mauro.
“I am confident that today’s announcement will ensure the future sustainability of the station and allow it to benefit from Lakehead’s tremendous research expertise and capacity.
“This will also provide Lakehead with the opportunity to expand its research capacity, and add to its already impressive achievements and reputation in the areas of research and innovation,” he added.
“I want to congratulate and thank both the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association and Lakehead University for their dedication and perseverance as we’ve worked together on bringing this partnership to fruition.”
“For well over a decade, our government has been supporting the important research that is taking place at the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station,” noted Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle.
“I would like to thank Minister Leal and Minister Matthews for investing in this important partnership, which will support the sustainability of the station and contribute to the economic development of our agri-food sector here in Northwestern Ontario.”
“This investment reaffirms our government’s commitment to expanding agriculture in Northern Ontario,” echoed Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs minister Jeff Leal.
“By investing in research and innovation, we are boosting the competitiveness of Ontario’s agri-food sector and ensuring that our farmers in Northern Ontario have the tools and resources they need to succeed,” he stressed.
“The Agricultural Research Station’s partnership with Lakehead University will create so many new opportunities for students to learn about and innovate in Northern Ontario’s growing agri-food sector,” said Advanced Education and Skills Development minister Deb Matthews.
“Thunder Bay offers a unique learning experience for students and researchers interested in diverse soil and climate conditions,” she noted.
“I’m excited to see the positive effects of this collaboration on the region’s economy and reputation in agri-food excellence.”
“We thank OMAFRA for this contribution and look forward to growing our partnership through the Agricultural Research Station,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Lakehead University.
“The expertise from Lakehead University’s faculty and researchers will further enable and expand the important work being conducted at this station for the agri-food sector in our region,” he remarked.
“Northwestern Ontario’s agri-food business continues to be an important economic driver for the region,” noted Dr. Brian Stevenson, President & Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University.
“This facility will help push innovation and train future scientists in the field.
“We thank the ministry for providing this opportunity for Lakehead University researchers, faculty, and staff to contribute to the work being conducted at this station and its field of research,” he added.
“This investment will help build Northwestern Ontario’s agri-food capacity, sustainability, and competitiveness by supporting an important partnership between local farmers and a world-class research institution such as Lakehead University,” agreed Kevin Belluz, President, Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association.
“It also recognizes the importance of northern agri-food research and the region’s ability to contribute data and knowledge which benefits the entire province.”