In partnership with Western University’s Master of Environment and Sustainability program (MES), we recently had a report completed by five masters students on existing and emerging technologies eligible for the Agriculture Clean Technology Funding program. This report was completed as part of the MES program requirements for their consulting course.
The University of Western Ontario offers a Master of Environment and Sustainability program which is designed to focus and develop intellectual and practical skills for the advancement of individuals in the environmental sciences, sustainability, scientific, business, industrial and policy sectors. The program is a 1-year, course-based master’s program with a Co-op work term. Similar to the sustainability sector, the program is constantly evolving, being revaluated each term to ensure material is tailored to the current climate.
The consulting project is a main component of the MES program where students complete a project as a group for an external client. This past year, Elite Agri Solutions submitted a potential project to the program that students could choose from. Students read through a number of project proposals and rated them based on interest level. Once we were notified that our project was selected, we hit the ground running with our new consultants.
The project we submitted to the program had deliverables that align directly with the ACT program. The program is structured to give the experience of a real consulting interaction between consultant and client. Once our project was picked up by a team of students, we became their clients and over the course of 3 months, they worked with us to develop the report: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through On-Farm Investments.
Our goal was to obtain a compilation of research that we can refer to when applying to the program for our clients. We originally submitted the project with a long list of focus areas but narrowed it down to a list of five technologies that we seem most applications coming through for. The five technologies they focused on were: precision agriculture and steam flaking, solar panels for net metering, grain dryer upgrades for efficiency, on-farm manure management systems, and geothermal energy for livestock barn heating. Though their research spans the globe, the scope of their report remained local, only including options possible for farmers with similar environments to those across Canada.
As climate change policies and targets create new regulations for the agricultural sector, we must continue to adapt our farming operations to align with them. Research is constantly progressing and technologies are emerging. Remaining at the frontline of innovation can be a difficult task to add to our everyday list, especially with the research and innovation streams of the ACT program currently seeing much less applications than the adoption stream. The research completed for the report not only highlighted existing technologies, but emerging technologies are eligible for the ACT program as long as they are also feasible within Southwestern Ontario.
At Elite Agri Solutions, staying up-to-date is important and partnering with the MES program to create this report, we’ve been able to learn more about these five existing fields and the emerging technologies within them than we could have on our own.
Our purpose is to help farmers make a profitable transition to a low-carbon economy and that involves constant research. To read more about the MES report written for the ACT program, keep updated with our blog posts. We will be posting the key highlights from each section of the report.