The Province is investing $3.2 million in the development of the Western Crop Innovations (WCI).

WCI will carry on the work of the Field Crop Development Centre at Lacombe starting April 1st.

Current programming is under review and where necessary will be transitioned ... FCDC which has been around since 1973  is known for its barley breeding program.

Agriculture and Irrigation Minister RJ Sigurdson says it's an exciting time for crop research in Alberta.

"Western Crop Innovations will carry on the Field Crop Development Centre’s substantial legacy, ensuring its work is meeting producer needs.

Jason Lenz will lead the interim board which will be made up of representatives from government and industry to help guide the transition.

WCI's is being set up as a non-profit corporation that will focus on agriculture research and development.

WCI Interim Chair Jason Lenz says considering his farm’s proximity and history with FCDC, he's happy to help guide Western Crop Innovations to conduct research and development leading to commercialization of superior crop varieties that will benefit Alberta and western Canadian agriculture sectors.

Interim board members include 

- Jason Lenz, chair
- D’Arcy Hilgartner, vice-chair, Results Driven Agriculture Research
- Fred Lozeman, former finance chair, Alberta Beef Producers
- John Conrad, assistant deputy minister, Agriculture and Irrigation

The Province's commitment of $3.2 million will go a long way to covering the expected cost of $3.5 million for WCI's first year of operations.

WCi's new model will include integrated funding that connects government, industry, and post-secondary institutions.