The following piece is from our sister publication, Germination.
Since the Field Crop Development Centre’s (FCDC) transition to Olds College a few years ago, FCDC implemented a strategic plan. One of its initial steps was engaging with stakeholders to identify key focus areas. Recently, FCDC completed a science plan that outlines the methodology to achieve the goals set out in the strategic plan.
FCDC Business Development Officer Erin Collier sat down for an interview at the recent AgSmart event in Olds, Alta., on Aug. 2. She noted that plant breeding is a long-term endeavour, and the varieties the FCDC is working on today won’t be available for licensing for almost a decade. That means long-term planning is necessary.
“It’s crucial to incorporate industry and producer feedback to ensure our trajectory aligns with future needs. Our science plan is aimed at 2030, a mere seven years away. We’re determined to establish FCDC as a center of excellence for barley and triticale breeding. We’re striving to have FCDC varieties grown on most barley acres in Western Canada,” she said.
“That goal might seem lofty, but with the changes we’re implementing — from modernizing operations to focusing on efficiency — it’s within reach.”
Sometimes, the most rewarding paths in life are the ones we least expect. For Collier, that’s exactly how she found her way into the fascinating world of plant breeding. Reflecting on her journey, it’s intriguing how a twist of fate led her to a remarkable opportunity that she initially knew little about.
Her academic journey began in the Crop Science Program at the University of Alberta. Little did she know that this academic path would eventually lead her to a field she had never considered before. The pivotal moment came when she stumbled upon an opening in the plant breeding program at FCDC in Lacombe, Alta.
What drew her into this field was the dynamic and passionate community within FCDC. FCDC provided a nurturing environment where like-minded individuals joined forces to push the boundaries of agricultural innovation, she says. This shared dedication to the craft and the undeniable excitement in the air propelled her forward.
“It’s hard to overstate the significance of the FCDC’s transition to Olds College, a shift that aligned perfectly with our mission and aspirations. The college’s focus on advancing not only Alberta’s but also Western Canada’s agriculture industry is significant,” she adds.