Dr. Surya Acharya Receives 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation

Dr. Surya Acharya receives 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation from Beef Cattle Research Council


Pictured l to r:  Beef producer Darren Bevans, BCRC Science Director Reynold Bergen, BCRC Executive Director Andrea Brocklebank, beef producer Doug Wray, 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research & Innovation recipient Dr. Surya Acharya, beef producer and BCRC Vice Chair Craig Lehr, AAFC Forage Breeder Hari Poudel, beef producer and BCRC Council Member Graeme Finn and AAFC Forage Agronomy Technician Brandon Eisenreich.

An innovative and industry-engaged forage breeder has been granted the 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. Dr. Surya Acharya received this award today at the 2021 virtual Canadian Beef Industry Conference to recognize the positive impacts of his research on beef industry advancement.  

“Dr. Acharya is respected and appreciated by academics and producers alike,” said Matt Bowman, chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council and a producer from Thornloe, Ontario. “His work addresses real industry obstacles with solutions that consider producers’ needs through direct communication with stakeholders.”   

Dr. Acharya is a research scientist and forage breeder at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he specializes in breeding legumes. His current research focuses on developing new cultivars of legume species with improvements in yield, nutritional quality and persistence, among other traits. His unique approach to plant breeding incorporates a consideration of multiple factors to best serve the needs of end-users, including beef producers. Indeed, many of Dr. Acharya’s past cultivars are appreciated for their practical use in solving industry challenges, such as his AC Oxley II and AC Veldt cicer milkvetch varieties, both of which are much quicker to establish than predecessors. Similarly, he assisted in the development of the online Forage U-Pick tool, which aids western Canadian producers in choosing appropriate forage species for their operations.  

Dr. Acharya’s most recent project aims to enhance the lipid content of legume vegetative tissues to improve their energy content for grazing livestock. Using conventional and genomic breeding techniques, his team has been able to select for plants with approximately five percent lipid content, compared to virtually none in the original plants. His project will have environmental benefits by using conventional breeding to reduce methane production through increased digestibility, which will allow western Canadian alfalfa producers to export to nations that avoid the GMO designation.   Continue reading

New Video: The Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation

In a new video spotlighting the Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation, 2020 winner Karen Beauchemin says, “It’s so fantastic to know that the work that we have been doing is important and recognized by the industry.”

The Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation is presented by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) each year to recognize a researcher or scientist whose work has contributed to advancements in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry. The 2021 award will be presented virtually at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at 12:00 PM MST. To watch the award ceremony, you may register for the conference or use the following link: https://web.cvent.com/event/85eb671e-34f6-4cee-8c8b-4ecfb6435fac/regProcessStep1 and use the code: BCRCAWARDS.

Nominations for the award are welcome from all stakeholders of the Canadian beef industry and will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of beef producers, industry experts and retired beef-related researchers from across the country.  Nominations are kept on file and reconsidered for up to two additional years. In such cases, the nominator will be contacted each year and given the opportunity to revise the nomination.

To be eligible, nominees must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants actively involved in research of benefit to the Canadian beef industry within the past five years. Benefit to the industry must be evident in a strong research program aligned with industry priorities, a demonstrated passion and long-term commitment through leadership, teamwork and mentorship, involvement in ongoing education and training (where applicable) and active engagement with industry stakeholders.

Do you know a researcher to nominate? Nominations for the 2022 award will be accepted until May 1, 2022.

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