This past November the Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC) board of directors decided the council should make a video to celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2011. As Communications Officer, the video production fell on my shoulders. I was very excited about this new project but concerned about the tight timeline. The board wanted the video done by our Annual General Meeting on March 17 in Portage la Prairie. This gave me approximately three months to get it done. Well, actually two months. Did I mention that I had plans to take one month off (December) and backpack in New Zealand and Australia? So this left me with approximately two months to complete the video project. But I was up to the task!
In January we hired Lank Beach Productions, a video production company based in Winnipeg, to produce the video. Together with the rest of the MRAC staff and a few board directors we selected seven MRAC-funded projects to showcase in the video. We chose a variety of projects, everything from naked oats grown right here in Manitoba to making biodiesel from canola. I worked with a script writer to finalize a script and formulate a few questions to ask each project leader on camera.
In February we hit the road and began filming in seven different locations across Manitoba. Two of our shoots were in Winnipeg, while the others took us to Portage la Prairie, Carberry, Arborg, Beausejour and La Broquerie. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting each project site and meeting some of our project leaders. I was amazed to discover the vast innovation taking place right here in our province. Stephane Gauthier of Prairie Bioenergy is taking various types of feedstocks and transforming them into solid fuel that can be used as a coal replacement. The McLaren brothers of Solanyl Biopolymers are taking the waste from the potato processing industry, making a resin called Solanyl which can be melted down into various biodegradable plastic products. Amazing!
I only wish that each of you would have been able to tag along on this journey. But because that wasn’t possible, the new MRAC video is our way of bringing a little bit of these projects to you. MRAC administers Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada funds for innovative agricultural projects. Over the past 15 years MRAC has funded approximately 650 projects. This video gives you a glimpse into seven of these projects. The video clips are posted on MRAC’s YouTube channel: mbrural. Check them out and let me know what you think.
I’m not sure if the general public realizes it, but farmers are very innovative. I toured a feedlot near Vegreville, AB a couple years ago. They were building a methane digestor to generate power. No surprise that Manitoba’s farmers are on the same track.