EDMONTON -- Some key provincial research programs are being transferred to the University of Alberta and will be funded by an arms-length non-profit company.

The agreement between Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the university was announced on Monday.

Five research programs will be transferred: Beef genomics and feed efficiencies, monogastric feed, reproductive management in beef and dairy cattle, poultry innovation and cereal agronomy.

“The U of A has a well-earned reputation for its remarkable agricultural programming already,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen said. “The work that these researchers [do] will help strengthen our livestock and crop sectors, which benefits not only our farmers and ranchers but Alberta’s economy as a whole.”

According to the province, crop and livestock receipts in Alberta totalled over $14 billion in 2019.

U of A president Bill Flanagan said he is excited to welcome the programs to the institution.

“The agreement today brings together the collective expertise to strengthen research and discovery that will lead to tangible benefits, including an abundant, lower-cost food supply for all Albertans, higher returns for farmers and a higher quality of life in rural communities,” he said.

The university will receive at $3.7-million grant to help with the transition.

The move is part of Results Driven Agriculture Research, a non-profit company that operates at arm’s length from the government. RDAR will establish a long term funding agreement with the U of A for the research projects.