Meeting Minutes - Rene Van Acker: The Future of Agriculture in Canada - July 9th. 2020
Present: Frank Webster, Julian Sale, Kerry Gennings, John Sneyd, Gordon Framst, Bob Paul, Bruce Folkard, Bob Berry, Bill Stevens, Dave McEwen, Bob Reeve, Soren Sondergaard, Warren Gregg, Bill Gaines, John Martin, Ed Herold, Ken Alsop, Dave Moller, Mike Churcher, Jay Strom, Gary Luck, Ken Marchant, Bill Rowley, Normand Genest, Tony Wagner, Bill Richards, Gunter Thase, Martin Alderwick.
This virtual meeting began at 10:00 am with 28 members on-line. This meeting was chaired by President Frank Webster chaired and hosted by Julian Sale. President Frank welcomed today’s speaker, Rene Van Acker and all members on-line.
Announcements: Activities – Ken Marchant - All previously activities have been cancelled and will be reconsidered at a future date. - Ad hoc walks are being considered and may take place on the dates of the coffee meetings but could be considered at any time. These may take place at the Arboretum or the cemetery. They will be announced on the website.
Speaker Introduction John Sneyd introduced Dr. Rene Van Acker
Bio: Dr. Rene Van Acker is Professor and Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) at the University of Guelph. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Rene was Associate Dean External of OAC (2009-16) and previously chair of the department of Plant Agriculture (2006-09). Prior to his appointments at Guelph, Rene was a professor at the University of Manitoba (1996-2006). Rene is a co-founder of the Food Institute at the University of Guelph (now the Arrell Food Institute) and has played a key roles in fundraising for OAC since 2009. Rene's research interests include weed management and agronomy. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed works to-date and over 300 other non-peer reviewed contributions. His research on coexistence and genetically modified crops has led to work in Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Australia, and the US. Rene grew up on a farm in southern Ontario. He holds BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Guelph and a PhD from the University of Reading (UK).
Presentation: Agriculture in Canada has evolved tremendously over the past century and it has met many of the expectations of society, but going forward, agriculture in Canada faces key challenges including an ongoing decline in the numbers of farmers, a changing climate and an accumulation of expectations from society. To meet these challenges, agriculture in Canada must continue to evolve, but perhaps in new ways. In this talk he provided a background on Agriculture past, and showed examples of Agriculture's future.