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BMO’s $2 million donation to University of Saskatchewan to accelerate research critical to the future of food in Canada

Last week, BMO announced a $2 million donation to University of Saskatchewan for critical research into regenerative and digital agriculture.  

The donation supports two initiatives within the College of Agriculture and Bioresources: the *BMO Soil Analytical Laboratory and the Jarislowsky and BMO Research Chair in Regenerative Agriculture. Marked by an event welcoming University of Saskatchewan, BMO, local media and officials, the attendees toured the facilities hearing about the impact of the donation from June Zimmer, Regional President, Prairies Region, BMO Private Wealth, USask President Peter Stoicheff and Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD), Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, USask. 

Unlocking the full potential of Canada’s agriculture soils requires innovative research and demonstration to establish the next generation of technologies and practices that will accelerate soil carbon storage, protect against climate change, and feed a growing population. 

“We’re excited to contribute to the progress of the University of Saskatchewan’s research in support of sustainable agriculture. As long-time partners and investors in the agricultural sector and a leader in sustainability, we know this research is vital to the future and the progress being made to grow Canada’s agri-food sector and the strength and resilience of our farmers, who are among the most innovative producers in the world when it comes to regenerative agriculture.” 

– Lynda Taylor
Head, BMO Agriculture

A multi-donor initiative, the new research chair position will focus on accelerating the science and adoption of regenerative agriculture, through detailed assessment of management practices aimed at preserving and restoring agroecosystem health while maximizing yield and profitability.  

The soil analytical laboratory will help alleviate a critical bottleneck in digital agriculture research and provide key analytical capabilities for research in regenerative agriculture.  

The new laboratory will: 

  • Expand current capability for characterizing soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, a cornerstone for quantifying regenerative agriculture impacts 
  • Build high-throughput spectroscopic capability for rapid assessment of a range of soil properties, including plant-available nutrients 
  • Facilitate rapid characterization of the soil and plant microbiome, an indicator of soil health and function  
  • Enable data integration across multiple analytical platforms, building a soil database that can be mined to better understand the interactions between soil function and above-ground crop performance  
  • Create world-leading training opportunities for students in some of the world’s most advanced agriculture practices right here in Saskatchewan  

Read more about this donation in the press release.   

University of Saskatchewan students
Students gathered in the USask soil laboratory

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