Blog: The Wheat Sheaf

Dhanuja's FarmTech 2016 experience sponsored by AWC

Dhanuja Neranjalee Abeysingha was one of 5 Alberta Wheat Commission sponsored graduate students to attend FarmTech™ 2016 from January 26th to 28th. Dhanuja is in the PhD program at the University and will be completing a thesis in the area of wheat physiology with Dr. Jocelyn Ozga. Below is Dhanuja’s impression of her experience at FarmTech™:

Thanks to the Alberta Wheat Commission, I received a free conference pass to attend FarmTech™ 2016, held on January 26, 27 and 28th at the Edmonton EXPO Centre at Northlands.  This was a great experience for me as I was able to meet and talk to commercial farmers and share agricultural experiences. I was amazed by the amount of agricultural and Ag-technological knowledge available at the conference. From Lisa Prassack’s session, I learned the latest on precision agriculture, crop-technology, new machinery and digital technology that modern farmers use to help manage their farms. My favourite session was “How to improve foods: the modern breeder’s toolkit” delivered by Dr. Sean Myles from Dalhousie University. He shared amazing facts on new technologies and improvements in plant breeding. His comments on   “gene editing” over “gene introduction to plants” caught everyone’s interest. The talk on “2016 Weather outlook: What to expect after a dry spring” delivered by Drew Lerner, an expert in weather forecast, was filled with very practical and important information for farmers. According to him, the prairie region of western Canada will receive little precipitation this upcoming spring due to the El Nino weather condition. He advised farmers to preserve water as much as they can during this winter. Charlie Arnot explained how to build up consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system and the farmers role in this process. I was very lucky to attend to the AWC’s Annual general meeting and could meet agricultural experts and producers from Alberta. The Trade show which aimed to make people aware of the latest ag-technologies, developments and updates about the sector, was also very interesting to attend. Overall, the conference greatly broadens my knowledge of the agricultural sector in Western Canada. My most sincere thanks go to AWC for giving me such an amazing opportunity to attend to the FarmTech™  2016.    


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