AIC Logo EnglishAIC Monthly Report

March 2012

In This Issue
AIC Presentation to Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture & Forestry
Expanding AIC Scientific Journals Readership
Agricultural Science Professionals Survey
International Development Activities Continue
News and Notes: 2012 AGM / Member Insurance / Foreign Accreditation

AIC Presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry 


AIC was invited to make a presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry for the report it is preparing on research and innovation efforts in the agriculture sector, and specifically on "how to support innovation with regulations, information and science from the point of view of science professionals."


The presentation was made by AIC Vice President, Dr. Lianne Dwyer, on March 6, 2012.  Presentations were also made by Dr. Maria Derosa (Associate Professor, Chemistry, Carleton University) and Dr. Bruce Murphy (Professor and Director, Center for Animal Reproduction Research, Department of Veterinary Biomedicine, University of Montreal).   A discussion period with the Senators followed.


We received very short notice of the meeting and were not able to consult on an official basis with our scientific society and other members to the extent we would have liked.  However, Dr. Malcolm Morrison, Dr. Chantal Farmer and Dr. Craig Drury were of great assistance in preparing the presentation and we thank them most sincerely.


The presentation can be read on the AIC website.  A transcript of the discussion period with the Senators is posted on the Committee's website. Presentations by other organizations to the Committee can also be read on the site.


Back to top 



Expanding AIC Scientific Journals Readership 


AIC has been working this year to expand the readership of the Canadian Journals of Animal, Plant and Soil Science. 


We are providing online access to the journals on a complementary basis for 2012 to CAPES-affiliated institutions in Brazil.  CAPES is a public foundation attached to the Ministry of Education and is responsible for coordinating the Brazilian postgraduate studies system.  This represents approximately 320 learning and research institutions.  This agreement was facilitated by AIC Board member
Dr. Richard Heck, who has research projects in Brazil.


We have finalized an agreement to provide online access to the journals to all USDA employees, contractors, authorized public on-site users, cooperators and volunteers.


We are also close to finalizing a 3-year contract (through the Charlesworth Group) with the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) in China to provide online access to the journals to 650 institutions (universities and research facilities etc.) in the country. 


These agreements will raise the exposure of our journals to scientists around the world and ultimately we hope will increase the journals' Impact Factors. 


Back to top



Agricultural Science Professionals Survey 


AIC will soon be conducting a survey of professionals with an interest in the science of agriculture in Canada. The purpose of the survey is to learn more about the status of individuals employed in the field, trends in research funding, AIC programs and services respondents find useful and new ones they would value.


The survey will also be sent to the members of supporting scientific societies and university faculty members. Aggregated data will be made available to participants.


An invitation to take the survey will be sent to you electronically in the near future. The survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete. It is vital that we hear from as many people as possible, and therefore we strongly encourage your participation. A random draw from the responses will be made after the closing date and the winner will receive one year's free membership in AIC, a value of $125.00.  


Back to top



International Development Activities Continue  


AIC and its partners are awaiting an announcement from CIDA on a call for proposals for international development projects, expected sometime within the next month.


Previous projects have been concluded but partners in Canada and six countries in the developing world continue to communicate and remain active despite the lack of funding. 


Patrick Kumah of the Ghana Institute of Horticulturists (GhIH) attended the 2nd All Africa Horticultural Congress held January 15-20, 2012 in South Africa. He presented a number of papers, including Innovative Model for Integrating Vegetable-Livestock Value Chains in Ghana, which featured the collaboration among the GhIH, the Ghana Society of Animal Production (GSAP) and Canadian partners - the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science (CSHS) and the Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS).


Halim Abubakari presented a paper, Fostering Sustainable Engagement of Youth in the Agrifood Sector - Opportunities and Challenges for Youth Employment in Ghana at the Young People, Farming and Food Conference in Accra, Ghana, March 19-22, 2012.


Project partners in Nepal, The Sustainable Agriculture Development Program (SADP), are working with Canadian partners who are members of the Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) and CSHS to develop a research proposal in preparation for a Canadian Partnerships call for proposals from IDRC, expected in April or May.


SADP is also working with the Society of Agricultural Scientists (SAS), the Nepal Horticulture Society (NHS) and the Institute for Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) to hold a conference on organic agriculture April 4-6, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal. SADP is presenting a paper on the results of the project it implemented with CSA and CSHS.


The Tanzania Society of Agricultural Education and Extension (TSAEE) and the Canadian Agricultural Rural Extension Society (CARES) partnered on preparing 11 proposals or concept notes during the period January to March 2012. Two have been accepted for funding, and notification on four others is pending. Successful proposals include The Tangible Goals Model in Rural Development in Tanzania being funded by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) and Cattle dip functionality - Tracking the Subsidized Scaricide System which is being funded by the Dutch NGO SNV.


Corina Lepp participted in MCIC's International Development Week's promotion by appearing in a video to discuss CARE's partnership with TSAEE, available on YouTube Josh Sebastian continues to write a monthly column from Tanzania for the Brandon Sun newspaper.


Through connections made during the joint project between the Vietnam Soil Science Society (VSSS) and the Canadian Society for Soil Science (CSSS), CSSS members have provided guidance and support to a VSSS member who submitted a concept paper to IDRC to conduct research on improving effectiveness of rice production in coastal saline soils with climate change in central Vietnam.


Members of CSAS and GSAP have raised funds for drilling of a borehole in West Mamprusi, Ghana and have been monitoring the site construction. CSAS members have also been advising editors of the GSAP Journal on publication issues, reviewed two research proposals from the Animal Research Institute to the Federal Government of Ghana and provided input into GSAP negotiations for land to construct a commercial piggery to raise funds for GSAP.


Members of CSSS are maintaining ongoing communication with partners in the Soil Science Society of Sri Lanka (SSSSL) and partners in the Ethiopian Soil Science Society (ESSS).


All partners are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to participate in submissions for the next CIDA call for proposals.


Tom Beach, International Program Coordinator


Back to top




News and Notes 


2012 AGM


The AIC Annual General Meeting will take place at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 during the conference Adapting Crops to Change. The conference is a joint meeting of AIC, the Canadian Society of Agronomy, The Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, the Certified Crop Advisors - Prairie Board and North American Fruit Explorers.


The exact time of the AIC AGM is to be determined. The preliminary program can be viewed here and the full program will be available in mid-April. 


We encourage AIC members to attend the AGM and conference. An official notice of the AGM will be sent to members by e-mail.



Members Professional Liability Insurance Reminder


AIC members have access to a strong and healthy Professional Liability insurance program which has operated for over a decade. The professional qualifications of those insured under the program has meant the number and size of claims are reduced. As a result, our insurance broker AON was able to reduce premiums by 5% last year, and another 10% or more this year, depending on the options members choose.


AIC would like your assistance in recruiting new members to the insurance program. If we can increase the number of subscribers, we can keep premiums low or reduce them even further. Please explore the information on the AIC website and tell your colleagues about the program. 



Foreign Accreditation (Substantial Equivalency) Update


In 2011 AIC was asked to conduct a review of the Food Science and Technology program at King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia. Over the past six months we have been in correspondence with the Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Associate Professor who is leading the review process. The university has completed their Self Study Report and the site review is scheduled for May 4-7, 2012. AIC's Accreditation Committee approved a four member team of Dr. Bryan Harvey, Dr. Michael Trevan, Dr. Robert Tyler and Tom Beach for the site review.


The Department of Food Science and Nutrition is part of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, which is comprised of eight departments and supports a broad understanding of agriculture by all graduates.


The Site Review team will be examining the program from the perspective of food science within an agriculture framework. We expect that it will be a pilot and that we will be invited to review the other agriculture programs at the university in the future.


Back to top




AIC LogoAgricultural Institute of Canada
9 Corvus Court
Ottawa, Ontario  K2E 7Z4
613.232.9459 / 1.888.277.7980

Frances Rodenburg, Editor