EMILI Managing Director Jacqueline Keena has a unique opportunity to be a voice for the future of agtech in Manitoba as a member of the newly created Premier’s Business and Jobs Council.

“I look forward to working alongside this talented group of business leaders to help Manitoba develop its economic strategy,” said Keena. “I am very proud of the work taking place across this province to grow Manitoba’s leadership here in Canada and globally.”

Premier Wab Kinew announced the creation of the Council during his inaugural State of the Province address on Thursday, December 7. 

“The members of this council bring with them a range of experiences from different regions and sectors of our province,” said Kinew in a Province of Manitoba news release. “The Premier’s Business and Jobs Council is an important opportunity for Manitobans from all walks of life to come together at the table, share their expertise and come up with creative solutions to the economic challenges we face today.”

As a member of this Council, Keena will share insights into how rapid growth in the capacity of digital agriculture and the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning can transform the agriculture and agri-food sector to grow Manitoba’s economy.

“Technology is continuously evolving and reshaping the industry, allowing us to do more, and in a more productive and sustainable way. This provides a huge opportunity – both provincially and nationally – to grow our position as a global leader in food production,” said Keena.

Aside from helping shape Canada’s national identity, Manitoba’s agricultural sector is central to the country’s opportunities related to developing a more prosperous and ecologically sound economy. The agriculture and agri-food sectors combined provide 1 in 9 Canadian jobs – employing some 2.1 million people – while generating nearly seven percent of national GDP, around $135 billion dollars annually. This includes jobs that take place on and off the farm.

To cement Canada’s status as an agricultural leader for decades to come will require years of sustained investment, and relentless efforts by progressive industry leaders with a commitment to innovation. This leadership can be seen firsthand in Manitoba where initiatives like EMILI’s Innovation Farms provide innovators across industry and academia access to leading-edge equipment, technology, and production practices.

“If Canada is to live up to its international climate commitments while sustaining the vitality of a critical economic sector, embracing new technologies must be central to the development of Canadian agriculture going forward,” said Keena.”Manitoba has a vital role to play, and it is a privilege to be able to bring this perspective to the Premier’s Business and Jobs Council.”