Glacier FarmMedia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic partner in applied research
September 29, 2020 - Glacier FarmMedia (GFM) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have established a new position to coordinate applied research projects designed to address practical issues faced by farmers in Western Canada.
“The field-scale research program at our Discovery Farm west of Langham is enhanced immensely by the position we’ve created through this partnership,” said Lynda Tityk, GFM executive vice-president. “Sask Polytech has applied research capacity and expertise that will allow us to combine our efforts to find solutions for farmers that are both economical and sustainable.”
The dual-title position of Applied Research lead at Discovery Farm and Agriculture Research chair at Sask Polytech is held by Blake Weiseth, who has a Master’s degree in soil science from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan.
“The unique public/private agreement that created Blakes’s position fits well with our institution’s interest in expanding our role in agriculture research for industry, and creating research opportunities for students,” said Dr. Susan Blum, associate vice-president of Applied Research and Innovation at Sask Polytech. “We share with Glacier FarmMedia the mandate of working to find practical, innovative solutions for an industry that is so vital to our provincial economy.”
Weiseth said the collaboration provides Sask Polytech access to land at Discovery Farm for field-scale trials “and, in return, they provide us access to certain equipment we can use on various projects and the ability to leverage project funding opportunities available to public research institutions. With this dual role, I think we can be really effective at designing and conducting applied research that makes the best use of all the resources available to us, including those provided by other industry partners.”
In addition to his in-field work at Discovery Farm, Weiseth consults with Sask Polytech on programming related to agriculture and food production.
All GFM partnerships improve the success of producers, said Tityk, “but we can now create opportunities for students—the next generation of farmers and ag professions—to experience first-hand the latest technologies, best practices and real-world results that flow from applied research.”