The donation will support two initiatives within the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources: the *BMO Soil Analytical Laboratory and the Jarislowsky and BMO Research Chair in Regenerative Agriculture. (Photo: Christina Weese)

BMO’s $2 million donation to University of Saskatchewan to accelerate research critical to the future of food in Canada

Critical research into regenerative and digital agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan will be accelerated thanks to a $2 million donation from BMO. The donation will support two initiatives within the College of Agriculture and Bioresources: the *BMO Soil Analytical Laboratory and the Jarislowsky and BMO Research Chair in Regenerative Agriculture.

“USask is excited to partner with BMO to strengthen the College of Agriculture and Bioresources’ research ecosystem,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “BMO’s investment will accelerate research and training in one of our signature areas and ensure that farmers and agronomists are at the cutting edge of production and environmental practices that support global food production.” 

“We’re excited to contribute to the progress of the University of Saskatchewan’s research in support of sustainable agriculture,” said Lynda Taylor, Head, BMO Agriculture. “As longtime partners and investors in the agricultural sector and a leader in sustainability, we know this research is vital to the future and the progress being made to grow Canada’s agri-food sector and the strength and resilience of our farmers, who are among the most innovative producers in the world when it comes to regenerative agriculture.”

A multi-donor initiative, the new research chair position will focus on accelerating the science and adoption of regenerative agriculture, through detailed assessment of management practices aimed at preserving and restoring agroecosystem health while maximizing yield and profitability.

The soil analytical laboratory will help alleviate a critical bottleneck in digital agriculture research and providing key analytical capabilities for research in regenerative agriculture. The new laboratory will:

  • Expand current capability for characterizing soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, a cornerstone for quantifying regenerative agriculture impacts
  • Build high-throughput spectroscopic capability for rapid assessment of a range of soil properties, including plant-available nutrients
  • Facilitate rapid characterization of the soil and plant microbiome, an indicator of soil health and function
  • Enable data integration across multiple analytical platforms, building a soil database that can be mined to better understand the interactions between soil function and above-ground crop performance
  • Create world-leading training opportunities for students in some of the world’s most advanced agriculture practices right here in Saskatchewan

“Expanding our research capacity in regenerative agriculture and our analytical capacity in soil health will accelerate development of targeted solutions for food security while protecting our natural resources,” said Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD), Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

“Soil carbon storage will play an important role to help achieve a net zero future and we need innovative research to establish the next-generation of technologies to build climate change resilience and feed a growing population,” said Michael Torrance, Chief Sustainability Officer, BMO. “That’s why BMO is happy to partner with the University of Saskatchewan to establish a Chair in Regenerative Agriculture and the BMO Soil Analytical Lab, as a leader in this space.”

BMO’s gift is part of the university’s upcoming Be What the World Needs campaign.

*Name pending approval from USask Board of Governors. 


About USask: The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is located in Saskatoon, Sask., on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis. Research, teaching and learning at USask are enhanced by its array of world-class centres and facilities. A range of excellent programs, from business, law and public policy to engineering, agriculture, medicine and veterinary medicine, positions USask to bring unique perspectives to key global challenges. With more than 25,700 students from around the globe, our strong community and well-recognized experts will continue to drive USask to be the university the world needs.

About BMO: BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.15 trillion as of January 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 12 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and more inclusive society.