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Technology Assessment Panel (TAP)
Sub-Program


Made up of leading soil and water specialists and farm community representatives, the technology assessment panel was responsible for assessing the suitability of soil conservation equipment and cropping methods for Ontario farmers. The panel also assessed research results from federal, provincial, university and private sector establishments.

List of TAP Research Reports

Original Sub-Program Description

  1. Provides leadership in validating new and existing technologies for Ontario conditions.

  2. Identifies and provides preliminary assessment of soil conservation technologies and their validity and utility for Ontario agriculture.

  3. Assess research results from federal, provincial, university and the private sector, as well as international work.

  4. As result of the assessments, may recommend technologies for immediate adoption, further evaluation or rejection for use in Ontario.

Responsibility: Federal Government

Budget: $750,000 (includes $ for SEE) - $598,200 spent (TAP + SEE)

Contractor: Herb Norry and Associates, London, Ontario

 

Background:

Formation of TAP: One of the sub-programs of SWEEP was the Technology Assessment Panel (TAP) which came into being in August, 1986 when panel members were appointed by the Honourable John Wise, Minister of Agriculture. When no vacancies existed, the Panel was composed of seven farmers, one person from the Ontario Agricultural College, three from agribusiness, three from Agriculture Canada and three from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. An Executive Secretary, Herb Norry, under contract, was provided by Agriculture Canada.

Functions: TAP had several functions, one of which was to provide peer group comments for management, which term includes program managers. Comments were basically about technologies - needs, availability, usefulness, strengths, weaknesses, erroneous perceptions, research needs, research results, etc.

TAP members were a network by themselves. Each of them belonged to many other networks, many of which involved persons very interested in conservation. Ideas that could be of benefit to SWEEP managers were picked up from hither and yon. It would have been a mistake not to pass on to managers, ideas that might improve the SWEEP program. The result was that while TAP concentrated on technologies in their study and searchings, they passed on to managers any and all ideas that might be of benefit to the SWEEP program.

Process: Peer group comments were conveyed to management in a variety of ways. Managers were welcome to attend all TAP meetings and many did. Notes taken at TAP meetings went to managers. Managers had an open invitation to present information to TAP or request comments from TAP. Program managers took part in TAP tours and fact-finding missions. TAP tried to have the panel represented at events sponsored by other programs. Informal conversations when at meetings or on tours and direct telephone calls were found to be excellent means for managers and TAP members to exchange views.

Results: Since TAP is a service program, it is successful only if it aids in the success of the SWEEP program. It is successful if it provides managers, including program managers, with information and viewpoints so that they are able to make better decisions and thereby achieve more success in programs.

How well has TAP succeeded in helping managers? In a period of seven years, it is likely that TAP pleased at times and displeased at times. Hopefully, there were more of the former than the latter. TAP has asked management at times, "Tell us what you want us to do?" The standard answer, reassuring to TAP, has been "Keep on doing what you are doing in the same way."

Since TAP has been successful only if it has helped in the overall success of SWEEP, and since TAP does not want to lay claim to pockets of success, nor repeat results that are better reported elsewhere, we asked our members and close associates to tell us some of the things about SWEEP that they though should be recorded. Some of the points raised by members are about accomplishments of SWEEP and some are about groups or individuals responsible for the accomplishments of SWEEP.

 

 


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Created: 04-10-1996
Last Updated: Thursday, May 19, 2011 11:04:44 AM