This story originally appeared in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer on September 7, 2017.
The Centre, located in Agassiz since 1997, has a well-deserved reputation for research and teaching excellence, and seeks to provide its students with transformative learning ahead of their careers in the field.
“I was delighted to get the invitation, having been curious about the Dairy Centre’s work for some time,” Sidhu said. “The Centre provides key research which is relevant not only to Fraser Valley dairy producers, but to producers throughout Canada and all across the world.”
Sidhu’s tour was led by Dinn and Director Dr. Jim Thompson, and encompassed all aspects of the facility, including the Manure Treatment and Nutrient Recovery Facility, a groundbreaking project being carried out in collaboration with UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering. The facility’s goal is to develop an economical way to recover phosphorus from dairy manure into a reusable form, which will be crucial as scientists estimate that the need for phosphorus in food production will exceed the world’s capacity to produce it by 2035.
“Canada is a world leader in dairy research and the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre is in the forefront of this vital work,” Sidhu said. “The dairy industry is a key contributor to the Canadian economy, generating in excess of $6 billion in net farm receipts in 2016 from more than 18,000 dairy farm operators. The total of all dairy product exports was in excess of $235 million that year.”
Sidhu also acknowledged the tour brought back fond memories of his previous career.
“I was a farmer for many years, and it’s a job that I loved very much,” Sidhu said. “I’m grateful for the tour, and the opportunity to see the passion this team has for the Centre’s work. Honestly, it made me miss my old farm a little bit—but it also left me very confident that this sector is in excellent hands.”