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BASF commits $250,000 for research chair in pollinator health at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine

  • BASF to provide $50,000 per year over five years (2021-2025) towards the creation of a permanent, tenured veterinary research chair, with a focus on pollinator health and biodiversity 
  • Chair will provide the agriculture industry with a dedicated, long-term researcher who will focus on solutions to improve the health of both pollinators and the agricultural industries they support


CALGARY, ALBERTA, September 8, 2021 – BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions (BASF) has committed $250,000 to the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to help establish a research chair position focusing on pollinator health and biodiversity. The contribution is supporting the WCVM’s goal of raising $750,000 to form the position that will serve as an important partnership between industry stakeholders and the supply chains they mutually support. 


Located in Saskatoon, the new research chair will build a team of researchers who will generate valuable data, knowledge and insights around pollinator health and agricultural sustainability. The chair’s role will also include translating critical data and research directly to beekeepers and farmers, which will enhance the agriculture industry’s profitability and sustainability.   


“As an agricultural solutions provider committed to balancing productivity and sustainability, we understand the need to support modern agriculture, while ensuring the responsible use of plant science technology, including the protection and creation of biodiverse communities,” said Jeff Bertholet, Manager, Technical Service at BASF. “When we learned of this role and its mission, we immediately recognized the tremendous value it would bring to the Canadian agricultural industry, and we are proud to enable vital research and future innovations that will benefit the community.” 


The new veterinary research chair at WCVM — to be supported by partnerships among industry stakeholders – represents an important step forward in strengthening sustainable agriculture and beekeeping. The exchange between farmers and pollinators will allow both industries to thrive, providing pollinators with the benefits of abundant nectar and pollen from commercial crops and native grassland, while enhancing crop and forage yields through increased pollinator activity. 


“As the first veterinary college in North America to establish a honeybee research and teaching program, the WCVM is the ideal home for a new research chair dedicated to pollinator health,” said WCVM Dean Dr. Gillian Muir. “With such tremendous funding support from BASF, this research chair will address critical health issues of pollinators that are essential for agricultural sustainability and food security.”


Once total funding is secured, the WCVM plans to conduct a search to fill the research chair’s role — a recruiting process that the college hopes to begin in 2022. 


The Canadian Prairie region is home to 70 per cent of Canada’s honeybee colonies, as well as the Prairie grasslands, which supports 387 species of bees. The WCVM’s honeybee health research group currently focuses on understanding and better managing the effects of pesticides and disease on honeybee colonies. 


BASF has longstanding and highly successful relationships with Canadian academic institutions and industry partnerships – all of which seek to enhance understanding, knowledge and resources to better tackle agronomic challenges Canadian farmers face from coast-to-coast. This initiative with WCVM is an important part of BASF’s North American sustainability initiative, Living Acres, which holistically supports agricultural sustainability through putting farmers first, driving smart stewardship, and partnering for innovation and influence. 


“We could not deliver solutions for any crop without strong collaboration with our industry partners,” Bertholet said. “This initiative and collaboration with agricultural stakeholders across the industry is one way BASF is supporting efforts to ensure farmers remain successful, while protecting natural habits and biodiversity for generations to come.”


About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, has over 625 employees who work at one of three production facilities across Canada including: Lethbridge, Saskatoon, and Regina, or one of several research farms across the Canadian prairies. Agricultural Solutions is the largest division of BASF Canada Inc., working closely with the regional Agricultural Solutions team, collaborating on research and product development that benefits North American growers. To find out more about BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions, visit www.agsolutions.ca or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/BASFAgSolutions.

With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2020, our division generated sales of €7.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.

About BASF

BASF Canada Inc., headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, has over 1,200 employees at production facilities and offices located across Canada. BASF Canada is a subsidiary of BASF SE, and an affiliate of BASF Corporation. To find out more about BASF’s activities in Canada, visit www.basf.com/ca or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/basfcanada.

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.  

Media Relations Contact
Tabetha Boot
Phone: 403-461-1253


BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions
510 - 28 Quarry Park Blvd SE
T2C 5P9 Calgary, AB