This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Agriculture minister Norm Letnick, right, was joined on an August tour of the Centre of Excellence by (from left) UFV Agriculture Network’s Lorne Owen, UFV president Mark Evered, Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation consultant John Jansen.

Agassiz. Dean John English says it is going

to take some advanced methods, advanced equipment, automation, robotics — really a combination of all those things — to keep the agriculture industry of the future vibrant. The Agriculture Centre of Excellence and the affiliated demonstration facilities are designed to support the berry industry. Field facilities at UFV’s demonstration site include permanent plantings of all kinds of berries: blueberry, raspberry, cranberry and strawberry, as well as Goji, Haskap and Elderberry. All will be available to industry researchers. The close alliance with the industry associations will ensure that research is headed in the direction needed by industry. The practical application to industry is a given on each project. The site is equipped with irrigation, electrical and modern agriculture equipment. Field facilities are also available on another property, in collaboration with the Chilliwack School District, under the lead of Sardis Secondary School. The site has typical eastern Fraser Valley soil and will have permanent research plantings for high school and university students for research and demonstration of vegetables and fruit. Further field facilities on collaborating farm sites are in Surrey on 16th Ave., as well as in Qualicum on Vancouver Island. These facilities are to help industry locate trials in different climatic zones within the Fraser Valley. While ultimate expansion of species worked on could

happen, concentration is specifically on berries at this time. Since the new greenhouse facilities

were officially opened by Premier Christie Clark last spring, no fewer than 16 student projects have cropped up, every one of them related to industry concerns. Involving undergraduates in industry-led research has been normal for UFV’s 30-year-old agriculture department, but the new facilities are equipped to make multiple research projects possible. One greenhouse is designated for keeping germplasm (a collection of genetic resources for an organism) retained for industry use and the stock is being propagated by students. This specifically meets a need for the nursery industry as well as the B.C. berry breeding program. Another greenhouse is designated

for teaching a wide variety of needed techniques in horticulture, such as the vanishing art of grafting. Greenhouse three, standing almost

12 metres tall, is used for research related to the greenhouse vegetable industry, as well as for testing futuristic apparatuses and techniques that are to propel food production into the overdrive needed to counter the loss of production seen in drought-stricken California and other areas of the world. Mostly though, the concentration is on making sure Canada has a safe supply of food when we can no longer rely on foreign sources. This push is led by Dr. Lenore Newman of the Agriburban Centre at UFV in close ties with the Pacific Berry Resource Centre.

12 British Columbia Berry Grower • Winter 2014-15

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16