Earlier this week, I lined up an interview with Dr. Jeannie Gilbert, a plant pathologist at AAFC’s Cereal Research Centre, Winnipeg, Man. I wanted to speak with her about the threat of fusarium head blight for 2013 and what farmers can do now to prevent or manage the disease. When I arrived, I soon learned that while Dr. Gilbert was more than happy to share her knowledge, it was also her last week at work. Dr. Gilbert, after 24 years with AAFC, is retiring.

That in and of itself isn’t a sad thing — we all should retire young enough to enjoy good health and busy grandbabies — but not only is she retiring, but so is the research station itself. The federal government announced some time ago that Winnipeg’s Cereal Research Station was set to close down in 2014. Dr. Gilbert’s exit is part of winding down the centre, a move that will see some researchers moved to Brandon and Morden, Man., and the greenhouses torn down.

In this video, Dr. Gilbert highlights the work that AAFC does and continues to do, but also how the closing of the research centre will impact the rate of research advancement and, ultimately, how that impacts farmers. Please watch it — it’s important that everyone in our industry understand the changes happening at AAFC and how it impacts our industry.

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.

2 thoughts on “End of an Era: Winnipeg’s Cereal Research Centre Set to Close

  1. Another nail in the coffin of the family farm… yah we can pretend it isn’t but this is just a small quiet part of the slow erosion of public, unbiased, pure research that is the sediment on which the private sector will build it’s ultimate dominance and control of the industry of agriculture.
    There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of will or ability to stop or reverse the path we are on. We are like kernals of grain on the top of the wagon load – competely oblivious to the fate of those kernals that are pouring out of the bottom chute.

  2. I don’t know about this ending the family farm, Jim, but the gov’t is sending a very loud signal — it’s getting out of production-level research and varietal development. Farmers especially but also all Canadians should be aware of this and speak up — our public breeding programs may need some tweaking, but there is immense value in what we have. We shouldn’t be abandoning it.

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