High school students from a mix of Saskatoon and rural schools had a chance to learn more about bioscience companies thanks to a tour organized by Ag-West Bio. The tour on November 7th featured Contango Strategies, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Corteva Agriscience, and the LFK Biotechnology Complex at Innovation Place, Saskatoon.

The students were taking part in a Saskatoon Industry Education Council (SIEC) program called Spotlight on Agriculture and Bioresources. The day also included a visit to the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

A few things the students learned on the tour:

  • The LFK Biotechnology Complex is named after Leo F. Kristjanson, an agricultural economist and professor. He was the 6th president of USask (1980 to 1989).
  • It is important to treat water at industrial operations because most of that water is returned to our freshwater lakes and rivers.
  • Three methods of treating water to kill microbes are biological, chemical and physical (such as microbes, acids and heat).
  • People have been breeding plants since the beginning of agriculture.
  • It takes seven to 10 years to develop a hybrid canola plant.
  • Corteva scientists are aiming for canola hybrids with higher yield, improved disease resistance and improved nutrition.
  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) was founded by apple farmers Neil and Louisa Carter.
  • The OSF Arctic® Apple is special because it doesn’t turn brown. This is because the gene that makes the apple produce a certain protein that causes browning is turned off.


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