Seed World

Discover the Future of Barley Breeding in Olds on Aug. 2

AgSmart takes place this year from July 30-31.

Attendees of this year’s AgSmart event in Olds, Alta. during the first week of August will be treated to something new, as the annual Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) Field Day becomes an integral part of AgSmart. Both events will be held together for the first time, with the Field Day being held Aug. 2.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone, according to organizers, showcasing the latest advancements in breeding programs and inviting attendees to explore the fascinating world of barley breeding specifically.

The FCDC’s annual Field Day has traditionally been held in Lacombe, but is being combined with AgSmart to take advantage of the large crowds and showcase the FCDC’s important work to AgSmart attendees.

One of the highlights of this year’s FCDC Field Day is a focus on the new generation of barley and triticale varieties coming through the pipeline — barley breeder Yadeta Kabeta breeds barley for malt, feed and forage end-uses.

He collaborates with colleague Mazen Aljarrah, who focuses on triticale varieties. Together, they form a dynamic team dedicated to advancing the science of cereal breeding.

Lori Oatway, a grain quality research scientist at FCDC, says attendees will have the opportunity to witness demonstrations of new forage varieties, comparing their characteristics and analyzing quality.

Additionally, FCDC staff will showcase malted barley samples and provide information on various testing activities. Furthermore, the FCDC’s on-site plots will allow visitors to observe firsthand the diverse crops and new malt varieties under development.

Diverse Audience

Todd Ormann, the VP of Development at Olds College, explains the collaboration offers a unique opportunity for attendees to not only explore new barley varieties but also engage with the latest advancements in agricultural technology.

“Barley production plays a vital role in Western Canada, particularly for Alberta producers. AgSmart recognizes this significance and concentrates on technology that directly benefits local farmers,” Ormann says.

Unlike traditional sales-oriented expos, Ormann explains that AgSmart is a learning exposition that attracts a diverse audience, including farmers, industry professionals, and government representatives. This inclusive environment ensures that valuable information reaches all stakeholders within the agricultural value chain, fostering growth and collaboration.

For more info on AgSmart visit

—with files from Ashley Robinson