Research at the University of Saskatchewan: 1960's-1980's
IN MAY 1981 the College of Agriculture supported by the provincial government began the new five-year FarmLab programme. This project combines the funding of research in the areas of soil and water management, zero and minimum tillage, weed control, plant breeding, grain variety testing, livestock feeding and reproduction, toxicology, and biological control of pests with the extension of the results to the community. Extension is being obtained through involving extension specialists and farmers in the research by using farm land spread throughout the province.
This approach is a variation on the former practice of bringing farmers to the university for short courses and sending individuals from the college around the province for short courses and field days and the judging of various competitions. With the new system farmers can see the results of the research almost literally in their own backyards. The approach complements the practice now found throughout the college of tending to stay put in Saskatoon, teaching and doing research, while maintaining contact with the province through phone, letters, radio and television programmes, and visits to the campus by the farmers. FarmLab also helps restore a balance that has been missing for some time since the members of the college had tended more and more to advise governments, commercial firms, and other specialists rather than individual farmers.