BCC in PEI: Checking In and Reaching Out
Thanks to modern technology, we can now work 24/7 and never be burdened by those pesky personal encounters with other humanoids. Fortunately, the Barley Council of Canada (BCC) appreciates the power of the personal touch.
That’s why BCC Executive Director Brett Campbell and Garson Law, Research Manager for Alberta Barley, recently visited Prince Edward Island on behalf of their members.
“One of our greatest strengths as a council is our diversity,” said Campbell. “We have equal representation from producers and industry and we speak for the entire country. It’s all about finding common ground and working together, so this was a great chance to solidify working relationships and forge new ones.”
The trip coincided with the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Crop Research Alliance (CCRA) in Charlottetown.
“It was a rare opportunity to engage both current members like the Atlantic Grains Council and key prospective members such as the Grain Farmers of Ontario,” said Campbell. “We could talk to people from coast-to-coast at one time in one room, exploring opportunities to collaborate while conveying who we are as a council and what we can offer.”
From Law’s perspective, the chance to meet fellow researchers was extremely valuable.
“Our national barley cluster incorporates research from across the country,” said Law. “So any work not being covered by the prairie provinces is encompassed by the three researchers we met on this trip.”
Campbell and Law viewed researcher plots and got a first-hand look at the unique agronomic challenges of their eastern counterparts. Just as importantly, they identified common ground for future projects.
“What used to be considered eastern issues are now western issues as well,” said Law. “We face similar challenges in areas like rainfall, disease and pest damage. If we can team up and draw from each other’s experience rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, the benefits to producers and industry are significant.”
Those benefits could include everything from more efficient breeding to faster testing of varieties, resulting in more competitive crops, higher yields and greater disease resistance.
“This trip was an important step in strengthening our collaboration with eastern producer groups and researchers,” said Campbell. “Going forward, those face-to-face human connections will be critical to success.”
And as it happens, there’s no app for that. Thank goodness.