Sikhs play Prominent Role at the Canadian Society of Agronomy

The Canadian Society of Agronomy is dedicated to enhancing cooperation and coordination among agronomists,

The Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) is an educational and scientific society, dedicated to enhancing cooperation and coordination among agronomists, facilitating scientific exchange, and supporting a new generation of scientists. We are fortunate to have a strong core of active members, which includes faculty members from faculties of Agriculture in different universities, Research Scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and provincial government organizations, as well as Extension specialists from across Canada.

The CSA has held annual meetings every year since its establishment in 1954. These meetings provide the opportunity for scientific exchange, igniting new collaboration among scientists, recognizing scientific achievements by Canadian scientists, and supporting a new generation of agricultural scientists.

Scientific research is all about learning and teaching and therefore, students are an important part of what we all do. CSA has always valued its student membership and every year has recognized student participation through a number of awards and scholarships.

Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota served as CSA president until summer of 2016 when Alireza Navabi took over those duties. This year a new president, Dr. Helen Booker, was elected. Dr. Booker Booker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan. She is also a Flax Breeder in the Crop Development Centre developing cultivars for production in Western Canada. Her research program centres on understanding the genetics of traits of economic importance in flax.

As a Past President Canadian Society of Agronomy one of my roles was to put the new CSA Executive (also known as Board of Directors) in place. I am seen in the picture above with the new CSA Executive at the CSA-CPS Annual Conference, Delta Hotel, Winnipeg in June 2017; L to R; Dr. Mumtaz Cheema (Eastern Director), Dr. Harpinder Singh Randhawa (Western Director), Dr. Helen Booker (President), Dr. Alireza Navabi (Past President who took over from me), myself and Dr. Doug Cattani (Secretary treasurer). Dr. Jaswinder Singh (President Elect), Dr. Sheri Strydhorst (Western Director) and Gurcharan Singh (Student Rep) aren't in the picture. Punjabio; Nahi Reesan Tuhaddean! Almost 50% of the CSA Executive is represented by the Punjabis (all Canadians; 3 of Indian and 1 of Pakistani origin). All new Directors were nominated by me and they were elected unopposed.

PRESIDENT-ELECT-Jaswinder Singh Dr. Jaswinder Singh is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Science, McGill University, Canada. Dr. Singh received his PhD from the University of Sydney and CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra Australia and did his postdoctoral studies at the University of California Berkeley, U.S.A. His research focuses on the enhancement of quality traits, stress tolerance and bioenergy capability of crop plants using modern genomic, molecular breeding and biotechnological tools. Dr. Singh is an internationally recognized innovator in the use of transposon tagging in cereal crops. His findings have shown for the first time the reversal of epigenetic silencing in plants. Recently, his laboratory discovered a key gene that acts as a switch to determine how a particular plant responds to high humidity and excess rainfall.


WESTERN DIRECTOR-Harpinder Randhawa Harpinder Randhawa is a spring wheat and triticale breeder working at Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. His passion for wheat breeding developed during his childhood while he grew up and worked alongside his parents on the family farm in Punjab. His prime focus of research is to develop spring wheat cultivars that have better agronomic performance, excellent end use quality and resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses in western Canada. He has developed eight high yielding spring wheat cultivars and co-developed four high yielding triticale cultivars for general production in western Canada.

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