A Green Rural Recovery: Sustainable Natural Economies of Canada & Scotland
Guelph SRUC Joint Webinar. This 90-min webinar will feature renowned scientists from Scotland and Canada, presenting on greener agricultural systems and examining how new technology is being used to boost the natural economy.
Among the speakers will be Professor Rainer Roehe from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), who will talk about his research into the mitigation of methane emissions from beef cattle, and Prof Asim Biswas from the University of Guelph, who will discuss the use of smart farming techniques in Ontario’s grain production.
Supported by the Scottish Government, the event will include opening remarks from Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, as well as an in-depth panel discussion.
Further presentations will be made by Prof Richard Dewhurst, who will talk about the Digital Value Dairy Chain project being led by SRUC, and the University of Guelph’s Prof Claudia Wagner-Riddle, who will show how an integrated data sharing platform can expand the value of soil health and soil ecosystem services research.
The University of Guelph and SRUC have collaborated on joint research and teaching for many years. In particular, the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and SRUC share are number of common research themes and have many research interests in common. These include Animal Bioscience, Food Agriculture and Resource Economics, Animal Welfare, Environmental Systems, Plant agriculture, Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Organic Farming, Grassland, and Food and Agricultural Policy.
The Covid 19 epidemic has brought into sharp focus the need to build greater resilience and sustainability. Politicians often express this as “building back greener”. This implies trying something new and key to this is harnessing technology, particularly the development and application of digital and data-driven technology.
And with sustainability in mind, there is also an urgent need to develop a truly circular economy. Both approaches need research and knowledge generation to make them happen. In a circular economy, resources are used for as long as possible extracting maximum value from them while in use, and then reused or regenerated at the end of their lifecycle.
In agri-food terms in a circular economy all resources used in the agricultural industry are optimised, not just on farm, but across the whole food supply chain, locally, nationally and internationally. To ensure that resources are used to their full potential new processes and products will be required engineered specifically with the circular economy in mind.
This initiative was developed in collaboration with the Scottish Government Office (Canada) and the Centre for Scottish Studies in University of Guelph, with generous support from the Office of the Vice-President Research, and the Principal and Chief Executive’s Office, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).