We drive innovation at the farm level through agronomic testing, scientific knowledge, and the right connections for them to succeed.
A trusted driver of innovation
Innovation drives us, not profit. This makes us a trusted source for regional adaptation of profitable and resilient crops, cropping systems and agronomic practices. Farming Smarter instills a culture of innovation and takes a bottom-up approach that is gritty, practical, and achievable. As a flexible and responsive organization, we take chances, break the rules, and encourage failure so we can learn. We excel at innovation development and adoption. This is crucial to keep farmers competitive and viable in a complex and dynamic environment.
Innovators can rest easy knowing we scan the world for new and old ideas that may apply locally. When they turn to us, they are confident our information is grounded and relevant. We love agriculture and offer our community informative, safe, and enjoyable experiences. They feel part of a diverse community who enjoy learning, networking, and bouncing ideas off each other.
Innovation is hard and about long-term results. We invite anyone interested in agriculture innovation to work with us and together we can change the way people farm.
a canadian charity
Farming Smarter is a policy governed, non-profit organization with by-laws under the Alberta Societies Act. It is also a Canadian Charity registered under Canada Revenue Agency. Our projects and programs access funds from numerous sources including research grants, foundations, industry, partners, and all levels of government.
The Farming Smarter Board of Directors operate under the Carver method of policy governance and take fiscal responsibility for the organization. The Farming Smarter by-laws state we must have, “no less than half of the Board being primary producers.” Currently, our board is more than 50% farmersMeet Our Board Of Directors Donate Today!
Agronomy Research: We change the way people farm through experimentation and collaboration.
Custom Research: We change the way people farm by delivering unbiased trusted results.
Extension: We change the way people farm with enriching and interactive learning experiences.
Field Tested: We change the way people farm through grounded on-farm innovation.
long-term & dedicated staff
Farming Smarter succeeds because our people bring knowledge, skills, and personality to all we do! A team of 10 full-time staff with diverse educations and backgrounds push the organization forward. They supervise and train the next generation as we hire 10-15 summer, practicum, and intern students each year. Seven of our staff members have an average of 10 years with us. We’re a tight knit group that enjoys working together, solving problems, and sharing laughs.Staff Directory
Founded in southern Alberta
Farming Smarter is a grassroots, farm focused, agriculture innovation driver. Founded in 2012 from the amalgamation of the Southern Applied Research Association (SARA, 1994) and the Southern Alberta Conservation Association (SACA, 1990).
Farming Smarter and its parent organizations played a pivotal role in shaping the agricultural landscape in southern Alberta and beyond. Early efforts focused on soil conservation including the development and widespread adoption of zero tillage. Projects like the pea-wheat rotation accelerated the adoption of pulse crops, continuous cropping, and the reduction of fallow.
We help bridge knowledge from other researchers, facilitated adoption of integrated pest management techniques including weed and insect identification, determine economic thresholds, manage resistance, and protect beneficial insects. Farmers learned how to soil test and implement nutrient management plans objectively and about novel crops including canola, pulses, hemp and more.
More recently they have learned how to use precision tools for on farm research, the impacts of spraying at different times throughout the day and how to manage hail damaged crops. They’re upping their game with precision vacuum planters and how to manage glyphosate resistant weeds.
Whether it’s a new practice a new crop or a new system Farming Smarter is always there to help farmers learn, adapt, and change the way they farm.Innovative Projects