A $1.6 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will create a new training opportunity for U of S graduate students in agriculture technology.

The NSERC CREATE grant in Computational Agriculture will explore the deep-rooted collaboration between plant and computer sciences and enhance the shift towards data-rich processes in the ag sector to drive economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

Dr. Ian Stavness (PhD), associate professor in the College of Arts and Science, and Enhancement Chair at USask’s Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS says this is an exciting opportunity for advanced training. 

Students in the computer science program from the College of Arts and Science will come together with students from the plant sciences program at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources to cross-train subjects and collaborate on research in agriculture and technology.

Over the course of six years, the program will offer dedicated cross-disciplinary training in agricultural and computer science to 87 students. 

Trainees will put their skills to work in professional rotations or company internships and at three training hubs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. 

He says their experiences will be enriched through those rotations and internships as they will get a better sense of the real needs for ag-tech companies, organizations, growers, and agronomists.