SWIFT CURRENT, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food minister, announced on Sept. 7 that the Canadian government  has invested C$35.3 million ($27.3 million) for infrastructure improvements at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Swift Current Research and Development Centre.

The center is being renovated and new laboratories are being built, which are used to support AAFC's wheat breeding program and other research on forages and cereals. Science and innovation play an important role in making Canada one of the world's top producers and exporters of agricultural products, MacAulay said. The new space will offer modern laboratories and more energy efficient infrastructure; the new and renovated portions of the building will be LEED Silver certified – a mark of energy efficiency.

Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food minister.

"The government of Canada recognizes the importance of research and innovation to agriculture and to our economy,” MacAulay said. “Improvements to these facilities will help deliver new technologies to producers, which creates jobs, grows the middle class and supports Canadian farmers."

The Swift Current Research and Development Centre is one AAFC’s network of 20 research centers. The research center was established in 1920 with the mandate to address severe drought, erosion, frost, pests, and crop disease related problems, and to provide support to the expanding settlements in the region characterized by a semi-arid climate. The center has a research land base of 930 hectares. Forage researchers use about 575 hectares for forage and pasture, of which 140 hectares are native grasslands.