Speech Announcing University of Guelph Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Program Involvement

April 27, 2017


Good Afternoon. It is a pleasure to join you here once again at the University of Guelph. I’m pleased to be here on behalf of Minister MacAulay.

The research team here at the University of Guelph is helping farmers feed the world sustainably. The innovative solutions you are developing today will bring real benefits for Canada’s farmers and Canada’s environment.

There’s no doubt that science is our most powerful tool when it comes to the environment and climate change issues. Here in Ontario farmers are taking action to safeguard soil, air and water resources. They continue to make great strides in reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint through:

  • Higher-yielding crops;
  • More effective use of inputs like fertilizers; and
  • Adoption of technologies that use water efficiently.

Climate change and sustainability are key priorities for our Government.

Agriculture Ministers agreed in Calgary that the environment will be one of the key priorities of the next agricultural policy framework, which begins next year. Federal-provincial-territorial investments will help farmers capitalize on opportunities for sustainable growth, while adapting to climate change. The 2017 budget supports clean technology in the natural resources sectors, including by Canadian agricultural producers, with an investment of $200 million over four years.

Of course, science will be the greatest ally in helping farmers meet the challenge of increasing production sustainably. We’re supporting the great work of our scientists in Guelph -- and across the country.

As well, our AgriInnovation Program also supports valuable environmental work at our universities.

Together, scientists are finding new solutions that help farmers protect the environment, while boosting productivity and the bottom line. Here at the University of Guelph, I’m pleased to announce a federal investment of over two million dollars ($2.2 million).

 Scientists here at the University will help farmers make their farms even greener than they are today. Today I would like to recognize the great research going on here at the University of Guelph:

John Lauzon, receiving $179,592 in funding to research the Effects of Nitrification Inhibition on N20 emissions from Hog Manure Applied at various fall timings,

Ralph Martin, receiving $379,600 to research Aerial sensors to assess soil organic carbon levels, rapidly, cost effectively and representatively and

Naresh Thevathasan receiving $1,688,973 to research Riparian buffer plantings: An agroforestry land-use for greenhouse gas mitigation including multiple benefits to Canadian agricultural systems

Today’s announcement, on behalf of Minister MacAulay, includes the announcement of twenty new research projects worth $27 million in partnership with universities and conservation groups across Canada.

These projects are funded under the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program and help get the word out to farmers. Last year, we renewed the Program for another five years. This renewed focus will help farmers reduce greenhouse gases and adjust to climate change in four key areas:

  1. management and feeding strategies;
  2. capturing carbon through land and tillage practices;
  3. agroforestry; and
  4. irrigation and drainage for crop production.

Right across Canada, the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program will deliver affordable and practical solutions that can help farmers capture more carbon on their farms.

And it will help Canadian farmers continue to lead the way in sustainable agriculture.

Our common goal is to build a more profitable, sustainable and green future for Canada’s agriculture sector. This year, Canadians are celebrating 150 years of our great nation. The future of our agriculture industry is bright.

Over the coming decades, farmers will be called on to feed a growing global population. The challenge before us is real: over the next three decades, the world’s farmers must nearly double the amount of food produced, on the same land base – and at the same time manage the effects of climate change. That is why the investment we are making here in Ontario is so critical – farmers have a key role to play in feeding the world and saving the planet.

And that is why the work you do here at the University is so vital to the future. The Government will continue to help farmers to meet this challenge – farmers here in Canada and farmers around the world. 

I look forward to seeing the results of your cutting-edge work on our farms across Canada.

On behalf of Minister MacAulay, thanks again for your great work.