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New Quaker Oats Funding for U of S Oat Research

University of Saskatchewan research into oat varieties and production practices for Western Canada has received a major boost thanks to a new funding agreement signed recently with Pepsi-QTG Canada, which operates the Quaker Oats business in Canada.

Under the agreement, the Quaker Oats business will provide three years of funding to the U of S Crop Development Centre (CDC) and Plant Sciences Department for oat research and development.

“This partnership enables the CDC to more quickly and efficiently develop disease-resistant, higher-yielding varieties and improved oat production practices,” says CDC Managing Director Dorothy Murrell.

This funding represents a major increase to the current significant support the U of S program has had from the Quaker Oats business. The support from the Quaker Oats business is unique in Canada, having provided a continuous flow of funding to the U of S oat research and development program for more than 30 years.

The new funding will go toward hiring research technicians, training summer and graduate students, and expanding the U of S program into new oat pathology and genomic research areas. These new activities build on the U of S’s history of outstanding oat research, notably in the area of variety development with very high milling quality for the oat food market.

“Oat research and development, especially the development of varieties well-adapted to western Canadian growing conditions, is critical to our long-term success,” says Tom Hare, Vice-President responsible for Research and Development for Pepsi-QTG Canada. “The Quaker Oats brand enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s most trusted brands, and this kind of research contributes to our ongoing ability to deliver a superior product to our consumers.”

Pepsi-QTG Canada is a division of PepsiCo Canada and is dedicated to providing superior oat products to the marketplace.

U of S professor and CDC oat breeder Brian Rossnagel echoes that it is important to work together with Western Canadian oat industry players.

“It’s extremely important that we work together with Western Canadian oat industry players,” says CDC oat breeder Brian Rossnagel. “The feedback and support we receive from our research partners and supporters such as Pepsi-QTG Canada is critical to future planning and the success of our oat research and breeding programs. We are extremely proud that Pepsi-QTG Canada has chosen our program as their flagship oat R&D partner for North America and look forward to this long relationship continuing for many years to come.”

While the Quaker Oats business remains the major industry supporter of the U of S oat R&D program, core support for the program comes from Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and the U of S, while other critical support comes from the Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission, CanOat Milling, Grain Millers, SuperOats Canada and FarmPure Genetics.

Established within the U of S Plant Sciences Department in 1971, the CDC is a nationally renowned centre of excellence in crop research. The CDC seeks to increase diversification of crops and their products for the farmers and agriculture industry of Saskatchewan by improving existing crops, creating new uses for traditional crops, and developing new crops.

Located in the heart of Saskatoon, the U of S is one of the leading medical doctoral universities in Canada. With 58 degrees, diplomas and certificates in over 100 areas of study, the University is uniquely positioned in the areas of human, animal and plant studies. World-class research facilities, renowned faculty and award-winning students make the U of S a leader in post-secondary education.

Brian Rossnagel | Newswise Science News
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