Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-01-16 at 2:30PM

Agricultural Research Association faces hurdles, seeks funding

Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association president Bruce Forrest
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association president Bruce Forrest
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

A local agricultural research station is looking for a way to grow its cash flow.

The Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association has been conducting research on Little Norway Road for a decade. From crop trials to pesticide and disease studies, it conducts three-year trials in order to help farmers in the region.

"That gives us an average of what a variety will do in Thunder Bay," president Bruce Forrest said.
The association used to be able to cover 90 per cent of its costs but funding changes now cover 90 per cent of project costs but only half of what it needs to operate.

"In the future that's probably going to be the formula that's used," Forrest said.

Reserves have been spent trying to cover the rest of the operation's $260,000 total budget but the association is now looking for other sources of funding.

At a recent meeting it asked its 60 members if there's support for the station in general to keep the doors open.

"We have a challenge ahead of us," Forrest said.

Industry and government cutbacks have led to associations like the one in Thunder Bay to being more competitive for grants. It could also ask the public for donations or ask members if fees could be increased.

It will also have to start looking elsewhere for project to bring money in.

Forrest said the association is keeping its options open.

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