THUNDER BAY -- The Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station can expect some much needed financial support and stability thanks to Lakehead University.
The newly named Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station was formally taken over by the university on May 1, and director Tarlok Singh Sahota is excited for the future.
“The biggest concern was providing for the community, but we didn’t have consistent funding,” Sahota said.
With the partnership, Sahota said the research farm will receive consistent funding for the next five years, as opposed to government grants on a two-year basis.
“We’re looking forward to helping the community with this funding,” Sahota said. “It's not just the farming community... Farmers produce food for consumers. With this research station, grain production becomes possible for those consumers.”
With the financial stability, the site will have more opportunity to focus on research projects, and less on how to allocate the funds for the projects.
The investment also gives Lakehead a chance to expand their ground in terms of research areas, according to Andrew Dean.
“Agricultural research is a very important part of the research ecosystem in Canada,” said Lakehead’s vice president of research and innovation.
“For us it’s a bit of an opportunity to increase our research output, and to provide assistance to the station and keep it going.”
The funding will also open a door for university students to participate in agricultural research at the site. Although the station had been taking in students in years prior, Dean says the new nature of the relationship will present more opportunity.
“I think this is an area where we’ll see more of an interest… Especially with international students who are more interested in taking that practical research back to their communities.”