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Building Knowledge for Contemporary Agriculture

Professions and Science

Many professions and many scientific disciplines are required to make the best possible use of the agri-resource base.

If Canadians – and our export markets – are to be able to derive food, bio-products such as renewable fuels and bio-materials, and environmental goods and services from agriculture, people with professional expertise and science from a broad array of disciplines are urgently needed – from agrologists, bioengineers, crop protection scientists to zoonotic disease specialists.  They may be soil or animal scientists, agronomists, food scientists, economists, geographers, farmers, geneticists, engineers, health professionals, public policy analysts, government regulators or business managers or owners.  They may work in government, business, not-for-profits or academia.  Collectively, they invest their intellectual capital to satisfy individual and societal demands of contemporary agriculture, for example from improving yields to discovering and extracting new value streams from agri-based products.

They all share a common science-based concern on how to increase the sustainable output from the agri-resource base and how to ensure that the end-products derived from that resource meet consumer and societal needs. Now and into the future.  Goods and services that are green, safe, and healthy. Products that make our lives richer.

This page will provide a growing inventory of the sciences and professions that make possible the profitable and sustainable use of the agri-resource base for food, fuel, fibre, pharmaceuticals and environmental goods and services. This is the intellectual capital without which we cannot make the best use of the agri-resource base upon which we and future generations rely.

Agricultural Economics

Agricultural Economics is the science and art required to identify, define, and analyze economic problems affecting the performance of the industry sectors that rely upon the agri-resource base for feedstocks (i.e. food, fibre, fuel and other agri-based bio-products and services including environmental goods and services.) Agricultual economics is applied, at both the micro and macro levels, to research, analysis and decision-making in academia, industry, and government. The discipline of agricultural economics (including, among other areas of specialty, agricultural marketing and trade, agricultural policy, agribusiness management, agricultural development, and resource economics) is necessary for government, business and academe to contribute to the efficient, sustainable and profitable use of the agri-resource base for the benefit of this and future generations.

Resource links:
Canadian Agricultural Economics Society


Professional Agrologists choose a variety of career paths. They work in research as scientists or lab technologists, in education as professors and trainers, in industry consulting and sales positions, with financial institutions as bank managers, credit advisors or market analysts, as farmers, and even as politicians.

The Profession of Agrology is regulated in Canada by provincial legislation. Each provincial institute of agrologists, and l’ordre des agronomes du Québec, are charged with regulating the profession of agrology. The legislation governing agrology in Canada varies from province to province and each institute has their own membership criteria, fees and standards.

For information about the specific requirements in each province please refer to the appropriate provincial institute of agrology:

Alberta Institute of Agrologists
British Columbia Institute of Agrologists
Manitoba Institute of Agrologists
Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Agrologists
New Brunswick Institute of Agrologists
Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists
Ontario Institute of Agrologists
Prince Edward Island Institute of Agrologists
L’Order des agronomes du Québec
Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists


The science of agronomy describes the input-output relationships that pertain to crop management. Agronomy examines how to use natural resources efficiently, sustainably and profitably to produce food, feed, fibre and fuel. Agronomy has a focus on crops such as grains, forages and energy crops and environmental stewardship. A highly integrative discipline, agronomy encompasses genetics (classical and engineered), plant and crop physiology, crop ecology, aspects of soil productivity, crop pathology, entomology, soil fertility, plant nutrition and weed science, amongst others.

Agronomists provide much of the intellectual capital so critical to the sustainable and profitable use of the agri-resource base. By applying their knowledge of the science, technology and art of the production of crop plants, especially the the interaction of plants with their physical and biological environement, agronomists make possible the production of food, bio-fuels and other bio-products as well as the delivery of environmental goods and services. They may work as field agents, farm advisors, government specialists, and researchers.

Resource Links:
Canadian Society of Agronomy
Plant Canada
Canadian Journal of Plant Science

Soil Science

Soil Science explores the nature, properties and use of soil to capture its value and to understand better its critical role as a foundation of life. People who study soil seek to comprehend fundamental global surface processes on multiple scales that impact ecosystems functioning and environmental health.

Soil scientists provide farmers and agribusiness representatives with educational and diagnostic service programs, using the latest in instrumental analysis, data manipulation, and research information, to improve soil and crop management.

Important crop production research is dependent upon soil science to improve input efficiency and thus to assure competitiveness in today’s farm markets. Scientists conduct research on such practical subjects as liming and nutrient availability use, soil compaction-nutrient interactions, and efficient use of manure and legume nitrogen contributions in various crop rotations.

Soil scientists also provide extension leadership in application of soil chemistry, physics, biology and pedology principles to economic and environmentally sound land use and conduct outreach to the extended community to provide all generations with an appreciation of soil as a natural resource.

Soil science is an interdisciplinary science that includes increasing our knowledge of:

  • Chemistry of soil organic matter
  • Solute transport processes in soils
  • Chemistry of soil surfaces and soil solution
  • Biotic regulation of soil processes
  • Soil biology
  • Environmental Biogeochemistry

Resource Links:
Canadian Society of Soil Science
Canadian Journal of Soil Science


Beef Cattle Research Council
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada?s national industry-led funding agency for beef research.

Canadian Charolais Association
The official Canadian website of the Charolais breed.

Canadian Egg Marketing Agency
Everything you wanted to know about eggs!

Canadian Simmental Association
The office Canadian website of the Simmental breed.

Corn Connection
The place where corn growers can find links to sources of information about managing, growing, harvesting, storing and marketing your grain corn and corn silage crops, and about corn itself.

CropLife Canada
CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations – pest control products and plant biotechnology – for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

Flax Council of Canada

a searchable database allowing farmers to put their product on-line at no charge, and lets the buyers survey the asking prices for various grains.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Provides company information as well as an overview of its research and technology operations.

Royal Bank Business Banking
Here you’ll find seven areas of information you can jump to. The place to hook into aglinks is RoyFarm On-Line where you can access everything from weather reports to market information.

Canadian Agriculture & Food Societies/Organizations

Canadian Agricultural Economics Society
The objective of the Society is to encourage and improve the study and interpretation of agricultural and resource economics with particular reference to the Canadian economy. In representing individuals who are especially interested in agricultural and resource economics, the Society provides opportunities for professional development and association among individuals making major contributions to solving important problems of the day.

Canadian Faculties of Ag and Vet Medicine
The Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine is comprised of researchers, educators and scientists from twelve of the most distinguished universities across Canada. The members have supported and guided agricultural and veterinary medicine for more than 125 years.

Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology
Founded in 1951, CIFST is the national association for food industry professionals. Its membership of more than 1200 is comprised of scientists and technologists in industry, government and academia who are committed to advancing food science and technology.

Canadian Nutrition Society
Canadian Nutrition Society/la Société canadienne de nutrition (CNS/SCN) is the leading society integrating disciplines and professions interested in nutrition.  We promote nutrition science and education, and advocate for the application of best practice and policies for the promotion of health and the prevention and treatment of disease.

Canadian Society for Horticultural Science
CSHS members (scientists, educators, students, extension agents and industry personnel) are involved in and make significant advances in research, teaching, information and technology related to all horticultural crops: fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, greenhouses, flowers, nursery plants and more.

Canadian Society of Agronomy
The Canadian Society of Agronomy is dedicated to enhancing cooperation and coordination among agronomists, to recognizing significant achievements in agronomy and to providing the opportunity to report and evaluate information pertinent to agronomy in Canada.

Canadian Society of Animal Science
To facilitate the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in animal science for the benefit of society.

Canadian Society of Bioengineering
The Canadian society for engineering in agricultural, food, environmental, and biological systems

Canadian Society of Microbiologists
The Canadian Society of Microbiologists seeks to advance microbiology in all its aspects and to facilitate the interchange of ideas between microbiologists. The membership includes honorary, emeritus, ordinary, student and sustaining members.

Canadian Society of Soil Science
The Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization for scientists, engineers, technologists, administrators and students involved in professional soil science.

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is the national body serving and representing the interests of the veterinary profession in Canada. The association is committed to excellence within the profession and to the well-being of animals. It shall promote public awareness of the contribution of animals and veterinarians to society.

Canadian Weed Science Society (Formerly ECW)
The CWSS is a vibrant national society dedicated to the study and understanding of weeds and invasive plant species, and their impact on the agricultural landscape.

Dieticians of Canada
providing leadership and support for over 5000 members.

Plant Canada
To organize and sponsor regular, effective scientific meetings and workshops under a national umbrella for plant science and related disciplines in Canada
To operate and maintain a strong communication network among Member Societies and their individual members
To be a strong and effective force for public education and advocacy in plant and related sciences

Agriculture Online Canada
Offers online magazines (Country Guide, Cattlemen, Grain News and Canola Guide, columns, the weather and more…

Canadian Foodgrains Bank
A Christian-based food aid and development organization that collects donations of grain, cash and other agricultural commodities for distribution to the world’s hungry.

Nature Serve
NatureServe is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality scientific expertise for conservation. Dynamic and impactful data, tools, and resources help guide conservation action where it’s needed most.

Farm Tech Conference
An online conference focused on Reduced Tillage Initiatives and Direct Seeding, hosted by Alberta Conservation and Tillage Society.

Centre de référence en agriculture et agroalimentaire du Québec
Le Centre de référence en agriculture et agroalimentaire du Québec (CRAAQ) compte sur l’appui de plus de 400 membres individuels qui, à l’affût du développement, des nouvelles tendances et de la technologie, génèrent, rassemblent et vulgarisent l’information à travers plusieurs comités et commissions du secteur agricole et agroalimentaire. Des chercheurs, des agronomes, des conseillers, des producteurs et d’autres intervenants constituent ce réseau unique au Québec.

AgriWeb Canada
A pilot project from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada to develop a national directory which will facilitate access to resources on the Internet and other electronic sites in Canada relating to Canadian agriculture and agri-food topics.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Provides all federal inspection services related to food safety, economic fraud and animal and plant health programs.

Canadian Grain Commission
The Canadian Grain Commission works to establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain, regulate grain handling in Canada, and to ensure that grain is a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets.

Environment Canada

Farm Credit Corporation

Industry Canada
Industry Canada works with Canadians in all areas of the economy and in all parts of the country to improve conditions for investment, enhance Canada’s innovation performance, increase Canada’s share of global trade and build a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. Science and Technology for Canadians
The official source for science and technology from the Government of Canada


Value Chain Roundtables
The VCRTs are sector-specific and focus on the individual needs of each value chain. Each roundtable is industry-led and is supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Value Chain Roundtable Secretariat as well as various agriculture commodity divisions. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans also provides support for the Seafood Value Chain Roundtable.

Scottish Crop Research Institute

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)

Free service to environmental professionals including articles, software guide, technological solutions, news & magazines, career centre, upcoming conferences & trade shows, web resources, and more.
Competitive Online Auction Markets for Cattle, Genetics, Chemicals, Feed Commodities, Cash Grain Market, Alfalfa Hay, Real Estate – Database for Cattle & Genetics, Feed Grain Market and Real Estate.

UK Free Range Egg Association

UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)

United Nations

International Farm Management Association

Agriculture Network Information Centre (AgNIC)
“Where Farmers Meet” This is an interactive Internet site using the communication tools of the Internet to place farmers in contact with industry and goverment experts as well as other farmers and ranchers. This site is run by partnership of Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development.

Ceres is a non-profit organization advocating for sustainability leadership by mobilizing a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.
A Canadian Resource site with everything from careers, classifieds, links, chats and more.

Farm Marketer
Canadian Agriculture website that specializes in Agriculture Real Estate, News, Weather, Commodities, and information on Agriculture organizations and events across Canada.

Western Canada’s Premier Starting Point for Agriculture on the Internet.