Nov. 17, 2021

What’s next for Western Canada’s agriculture?

UCalgary launches its first Interdisciplinary Sustainable Agriculture Network — get involved at Dec. 13 online event
Interdisciplinary Sustainable Agriculture Network
Pixabay photo

Rising industry pressures, trade tensions, technological innovations and water usage are just a few of the key issues that are sparking big conversations around sustainable agriculture in Western Canada.

This fall, University of Calgary faculty members, community members and industry specialists have come together to launch an Interdisciplinary Sustainable Agriculture Network (ISAN). Spearheaded by Dr. Rudiger Tscherning, PhD, of UCalgary’s Faculty of Law, and alumna Julia Loney, BA’10, LLM’15, of McMillan LLP, together with Alyse Pearce from UCalgary’s Knowledge Engagement team and Alana-Dawn Erikson, MSW’18, from UCalgary’s Office of Sustainability, ISAN is a platform for the university community to interact with the wider community to exchange and share ideas and to create learning opportunities on sustainable agriculture in Western Canada in an open, respectful and inclusive space.

In alignment with UCalgary’s Framework for Growth, ISAN intends to create a platform that encourages connections and opportunities that will spark research collaborations within the community and industry.

During the launch event, held on Oct. 21, 2021, presentations were given by the ISAN organizers, along with Dr. Mindi Summers, PhD, of the Faculty of Science and John Bailey, MEDes’21, of The School of Public Policy. This diverse group generated topics of conversation to begin planting the seeds that will eventually create new and collaborative conversations around research solutions related to the topics that matter most to the wider agricultural community and sector.

“I think it is important to bring together experts from different fields so that we can get a wider variety of knowledge and experience. This will help us tackle some of the bigger questions around the future of the agriculture sector,” says Loney, a long-standing community partner of UCalgary Law and a key supporter through McMillan LLP.

The network focuses on creating a non-judgmental environment where participants can both learn and teach one another.

We keep ourselves humble and open as we listen to others’ wisdom, expertise, knowledge and experience.

- Alyse Pearce

ISAN warmly welcomes involvement and support from community organizations, Indigenous groups, entrepreneurs and innovators, researchers, agri-producers and agri-businesses, as well as faculty members and researchers.

On Dec. 13 at 11:30 a.m., join the ISAN organizers as they host an online event featuring casual conversations about their work, the goals of the network and how you can get involved. Register here.

Learn more about ISAN.

ISAN is aligned with UCalgary’s Equity Diversity and Inclusion, Indigenous and Sustainability strategies.

The initiatives highlighted within this article connect to SDG 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

The University of Calgary’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy provides a road map for continuous improvement in our pursuit of excellence and leadership in sustainability. We aim to be a Canadian post-secondary education leader in sustainability in our academic and engagement programs, administrative and operational practices, and through supporting community and industry in their aims for leadership in sustainability. Learn more about UCalgary’s leadership in sustainability.