Evolution of Canada's university-level agricultural programs

February 28, 2020

Canada’s agriculture faculties are becoming, with surprisingly little fanfare, ... among the most exciting hubs of interdisciplinary collaboration on Canadian campuses, writes Matthew Halliday. Although enrolment in Canadian university-level agricultural programs has seen a decline over many years, the author attributes the recent success of many agricultural departments to being able to appeal to the interests of "an increasingly urban student body less interested in tilling soil and more interested in questions of social justice [and] food security." From the creation of digital agriculture programs to creating partnerships with industry leaders and other faculties and departments, agricultural departments have reinvented themselves through collaboration and embracing technological developments, However, McGill University Professor Jim Fyles cautions that "universities also need to be careful that the increasingly fruitful interdisciplinarity doesn’t splinter into specialized siloes, with researchers losing the sense of the broad purpose and mission” necessary for success.   University Affairs  (National)