Rural Manitoba Benefits from Partnership

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BRANDON, MB – The Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Brandon University (BU) today received $110,000 in funding from the Manitoba government, to assist in new community initiatives including a study of opportunities in Manitoba’s food processing industry.

RDI Director Dr. Bill Ashton, Dean of Arts Dr. Bruce Strang, and Drew Caldwell, MLA Brandon East
RDI Director Dr. Bill Ashton, Dean of Arts Dr. Bruce Strang, and Drew Caldwell, MLA Brandon East

The installment is the third in a five-year, $545,000 funding agreement between RDI and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD). Signed in 2012, the partnership supports RDI’s research and education programs which bring rural issues to audiences throughout Manitoba and the world.

“RDI is unique in Manitoba,” says BU President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah Poff, “and this financial commitment provides resources for the Institute to continue leading and informing discussions about rural values which drive policy at all government levels.”

Drew Caldwell, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Brandon East, says the partnership is an important part of provincial efforts to build a stable and profitable agriculture and food sector. “This cheque will contribute to growth and prosperity across rural and northern Manitoba, driven by a deeper public knowledge of rural opportunities through the work of RDI.”

Dr. Bill Ashton, RDI Director, says MAFRD funding has contributed to important studies, including revitalizing downtown Brandon; an extension survey of the military training trenches dug during World War l at Camp Hughes, a National Historic Site; and water quality in Killarney Lake. A provincial conference on land use last month in Brandon drew over 300 planners, municipal staff, elected officials, economic development officers, and guest speakers.

“RDI is a centre of excellence, where we grow the next generation of rural researchers,” says Dr. Ashton. “The government’s continued funding will enable us to deliver a comprehensive report this spring on the province’s $5-billion a year food processing industry, which holds exciting potential for rural Manitobans.”

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Deborah Poff
President and Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Bill Ashton
Director, Rural Development Institute|


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