2020 is in the books!
Hopefully, 2021 is a redo & not a repeat year
Thank you to all our readers this year for making the time for our weekly posts. It has been a whirlwind of a year full of events, news, isolation and emotions, so the fact that you took the time to venture over to our webpage and read our blogs means a lot. So thank you! We started the year off with the hope that the world’s vision of agriculture would become 20/20, it was a poetic and encouraging thought. However, our focus shifted early in the year thanks to the pandemic. While I hope in 2021 to return to sharing research on sustainable agricultural innovations and food topics, we expect that this coming year we will also focus on the effects that COVID-19 has had on our food, the agriculture sector, trade, and consumers.
Like many of you, by mid-March, our work and home life took a sharp change as we were suddenly figuring out how to set up our home offices and finding the best lighting, angle and quiet place for Zoom calls. We also had the hurdle of trying to stay motivated while working from home in a pandemic, this one still gets me from time to time. It has not been an easy transition, but we also know how lucky we have been to be able to continue working from home, doing what we love. Over time and after our much-needed summer hiatus, we have found our rhythm we are pleased to have posted about current events, including the significance of the Nobel Prize of Chemistry this year to agriculture and why the EU is facing a bit of a dilemma between COVID and CRISPR/biotech regulations. We are also pleased to have been able to return to sharing the blogs of our AgBio students from Stuart’s introductory course to agricultural policy. One of my favourite and one of our most-read blogs this year is in fact from student Carrie Rode on single-use plastic and hemp, be sure to check it out.
Thanks to our amazing Team
Of course, this year we would not have been able to stay afloat without the help of our wonderful authors! Thank you to Chelsea Sutherland, which balancing the work of her Master’s thesis and farming, Chelsea has written some of our best blogs this year on the essential services of Ag during COVID, the financial startup and cash needed to farm, and of course BK’s fart of a commercial this summer.
This year we also thought we were saying goodbye to a researcher and guest blogger, Diego Macall, as he had plans to further his education in Europe. Unfortunately, for him, the pandemic got in his way, and his misfortune has been our benefit as he is continuing to work with the Smyth research group. In the coming months, we will be sharing more blogs from Diego that I am very excited to share with you all.
Thank you to Dr. Rim Lassoued for sharing her research with SAIFood in two posts, and we hope that in her busy 2021 schedule she has time to share more of her fantastic research with us. On a tangent, be sure to keep your eye out for research from Rim and Stuart this coming year, they have joined Dr. Sylvain Charlebois’ collaboration ‘Canada’s Food Price Report’, and you can find more about their report for 2021 here.
I cannot forget the students who have been kind enough to share their blogs this past year, thank you for your extra effort and revisions to make them the best blogs. If you have not checked out the blogs by our amazing students, be sure to give them a read this holiday season and learn what concerns and interests our agricultural youth have.
Lastly, I need to thank Stuart for his dedication this year to SAIFood. As you know, Stuart is the one who started this blog, but he also gives us all the reign to make SAIFood our own and share our voices. During this trying year, he has kept us motivated, uplifted, and excited. He has been the driving force of keeping SAIFood fresh this year, and while I had COVID-writers block, Stuart stayed positive and was a fountain of ideas for blog topics.
Best wishes for the coming year
While we are not out of the woods of COVID-19, let us hope our efforts this holiday season and the roll-out of a vaccine mean that in 2021 we can return to our regular lives. While there has been much loss this year of varying forms, we need to find the good, the life lessons and keep moving forward. For myself I have learned just how much I value and miss my colleagues, I am thankful for the extra time I got to spend with my partner this year, and I am hopeful that this year all around the world individuals’ interests, understanding and communication around science has grown. Thank you all for your interest in SAIFood, knowing there was an audience interesting in the information we are sharing has been rewarding this year for us. Our team is wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season, and an even better New Year.
Editor & Author of SAIFood