RDI Signs New Agreement with MAFRI, Receives $545,000 in Funding

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brandon, MB — The Rural Development Institute (RDI) has once again received financial support from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI.) On hand to sign the agreement were Drew Caldwell, MLA for Brandon East, Dr. Deborah Poff, President and Vice-Chancellor of Brandon University and Dr. William Ashton, Director of RDI. This five-year financial support of $545,000  from the province will help sustain Brandon University-based, RDI-driven research efforts.

“This five-year commitment to RDI’s funding from the provincial government provides necessary resources for the Institute to continue in its important work,” said Dr. Deborah C. Poff, President and Vice-Chancellor of Brandon University. “RDI leads and informs rural and community knowledge creation and application in Manitoba and with these new resources, it will bring its significant expertise to the ongoing needs of rural Manitobans.”

This funding and renewed partnership will enable RDI researchers to continue their work. As well, hands-on learning experiences and working opportunities for students within RDI projects will still be available. The research in turn is beneficial for MAFRI, rural communities and the province as a whole. RDI‘s main goal is to help strengthen rural and northern communities through research and the sharing of information pertaining to issues relevant to those particular communities.

“RDI is nationally recognized as a centre of knowledge and applied research in the area of rural community development unparalleled in Western Canada,” wrote Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers in a communiqué about this agreement. “Research undertaken at RDI on immigration, youth migration and community foundations among many other areas helps inform decision-making on rural policy and initiatives.”

In his comments to the assembled crowd, Drew Caldwell, who represented Minister Struthers at the event, expressed the underlying reason for this funding: Research is key to the future of rural Manitoba.

“Our government is committed to continuing to support tomorrow’s rural leaders to ensure a strong future for Manitoba’s rural communities,” Calwell said.

This renewed commitment from the province will allow Dr. Ashton and his colleagues to develop long-range plans for the Institute along with maintaining research activities.

“Of highest importance, this means we can continue to support our students in their thesis development and their research. It means that we can reach into communities, coupled with faculty members, to identify problems and solutions, in Manitoba and across Canada,” Ashton said. “This also means that we can continue to distribute our information on the web, worldwide. That dissemination of knowledge is critical.”

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For more information, please contact:

Joanne F. Villeneuve
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-9762



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