Morning Plenary Session

Please stay tuned for more speaker biographies and abstracts as we receive them

Green Paper Presentation
The 2015 Green Paper was written by University of Alberta research staff in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science, department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science. Dr. Catherine Chan has led the document preparation. We look forward to Dr. Catherine Chan and Dr. Noreen Willows introducing the Paper presentation at the AIA Conference!

2015 AIA Green Paper Abstract: Food Environment, Health and Chronic Disease
Food choices made by an individual or family, by the manager of a school cafeteria, or buyers for grocery store chains are influenced by multiple factors that are much more complicated than the foods’ hedonic properties and nutritional value. The food environment includes social and cultural influences (preferences of family and friends, ethnic preferences), the availability of specific food items in the physical environment (eg. stores, cafeterias, crop selection by farmers), and consumers’ accessibility to that food (eg. financial affordability, ability to prepare the food, nutrition knowledge, transportation).

In the modern world the food environment is also influenced by distal (macro-level) forces such as government policy (eg. on biofuels, food importation), globalization and immigration. The food environment in westernized societies has undergone a major transformation since World War II and has insidiously altered our dietary pattern to the extent that health gains made through improving dietary adequacy and food safety have been partially mitigated by increases in chronic diseases for which excess calories, sodium, sugar and fat are risk factors. In this Green Paper, we will define the food environment in terms of a 4-A Framework (adequacy, acceptability, availability and accessibility) and then explore the current food environment in Alberta in the context of vulnerable populations (First Nations and children), chronic disease risk (cancer and type 2 diabetes), social environment and policy implications. Current and future challenges will be identified and recommendations presented.

Abstract: Greenhouse Gas Policy that Works for Alberta 
This presentation will summarize the work of the climate change leadership panel which recommended many of the policies proposed by the Alberta government in November, 2015. It will examine these policies in the national, international and provincial context and speak to the advantages and remaining challenges of the proposed approach.

The re?

Abstract: The Future is Local: How City-Regions are Leading the Way on Food, Health, and the Environment
Our contemporary food system presents substantial challenges to our individual and collective wealth and health. City-regions have emerged as a key arena for innovative thinking on and design of healthier food environments, in ways that integrate multiple policy aims including social equity, environmental sustainability, economic development and prosperity, and population health. This presentation will highlight key jurisdictional examples of local authorities across Canada adopting food system thinking and diverse policy levers to lead successful cross-sectoral interventions.

Abstract: The Impact of the Rise of Native Empowerment in Alberta  

Abstract: Food Safety Modernization in Alberta.
Ensuring food safety involves everyone in the farm to fork continuum, including government. A modernized food safety system requires clarification of regulatory accountabilities, operational consistency among regulatory agencies, and balancing the reduction of red tape with food safety practices. A partnership among regulatory agencies, both federal and provincial, academia, stakeholder organizations, and industry is needed to ensure the widespread adoption of a culture of food safety within Alberta. This partnership will allow SMEs to navigate through the complex food safety environment so that they can continue to have an economic advantage in the food processing economy across Canada. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) has always been an innovator of change for improved food safety systems and this includes a modernized approach to meat inspection. Two key components to realize this transformation are a sound, science based surveillance system and the regulatory capacity to conduct meat inspection services that ensure public safety.

On August 1, 2014 Dr. Blade became Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) at the University of Alberta. The Faculty is made up of over 400 faculty and staff, 1600 undergraduates and 550 graduate students. ALES is focused on teaching, research and community service in its departments and schools: Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Renewable Resources, Human Ecology, Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology as well as the Devonian Botanic Garden and the Alberta School of Forest Science and Management.

Afternoon Breakout Session

There will be three themes to all the breakout sessions:
Technology and Markets



Dr. Andrew Hammermeister
Mr. Paul Watson
Abstract: Alberta's Environmental Farm Plan and Sustainable Sourcing 
The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a voluntary, whole farm, self-assessment tool that helps producers identify their environmental risks and develop plans to mitigate identified risks.  Historically, EFP uptake has been driven by agri-environmental funding provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Government of Alberta through the Agriculture Policy Framework.   Read More   


Abstract: The Rise of Urban Agriculture 
Alberta municipalities like many cities across North America are increasingly concerned about their food. Where it comes from, how it’s produced and what can be done at the local level to increase access to locally grown food. This engaging presentation will look at the growth of urban agricultural, where it may be heading, and what role we as Agrologists can play in this emerging area of food production.

Speakers  - Environmental  

Abstract: Circadian Rhythms: How Cycling of Plant Biology May Impact Nutrition
Almost all organisms have evolved internal clocks that allow them to tell time and anticipate the daily environmental changes caused by the earth’s rotation. We have discovered that the circadian clock provides selective advantage to plants through anticipation of and enhanced defense against herbivory and fungal infection. This cyclical plant behavior is also evident in crop plants, even in vegetables and fruits long after being harvested. As a consequence, phytochemicals and metabolites, including those relevant to human health and nutrition, may vary in accumulation levels depending upon the time of day.

Abstract: Why kill the messenger? The demise of CEMA (Cumulative Environment Management Association)  
CEMA was formed by industry and government in 2000 as a multi-stakeholder group to deal with the cumulative effects of development of the oilsands in Northeastern Alberta. Read More


Speakers - Technology and Markets  

Abstract: Understanding Consumer Behavior and Choice: An Economic Choice Behaviour Perspective
Economists study choice in a variety of contexts – food, transportation, health care, jobs, recreation, etc. This talk will discuss the application of the methods and models used to analyze choice behaviour with applications to food. The presentation will employ examples to illustrate a variety of factors that characterize consumer choice of food including habits, heterogeneity of preferences, and the use of “heuristics” to simplify choice in a complex world. The talk will also outline the challenges of understanding food choices including the trade-offs associated with different types of data and analytical approaches.

Abstract: LAND AND PEOPLE….People die but land does NOT!! 
Prairie Agriculture in the 21 st century needs to revisit the traditional business models of land ownership and access.  With ever increasing acreages needed to farm, fracturing land ownership between siblings, may be the Achilles heel of the next generation. Recapitalizing equity may be an estate objective but defiantly not a business or succession objective.
Attend this session to help craft possibly a brand new concept…Land Partnerships.  Perhaps family and land can live for a very long time together. 

Abstract: How to Use New Media to Tell Your Story  
In the past a person applying for a position would send a résumé and three references, and then wait patiently for a response. People expanded their networks solely through personal and business contacts, and they learned about new developments in their area and other areas by reading articles in journals and magazines. Read more  
Abstract: How to Use New Media to Tell Your Story  
In the past a person applying for a position would send a résumé and three references, and then wait patiently for a response. People expanded their networks solely through personal and business contacts, and they learned about new developments in their area and other areas by reading articles in journals and magazines. Read more