Leona Staples

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Olds College Welcomes Leona Staples as New Board Chair

Leona Staples May 16, 2017 - Olds College is excited to announce the Government of Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education has appointed Leona Staples as the new Chair of the Olds College Board of Governors. Leona was previously a member of the College Board of Governors for two terms.

“Leona Staples is a respected member of the central Alberta community and an expert in agricultural entrepreneurship and marketing,” explains Dr. H.J. (Tom) Thompson, “Her experience in innovation and sustainability will help guide the College as it works toward achieving its vision to be the premier integrated learning and applied research community specializing in agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental stewardship.”

Leona Staples has roots firmly planted in the areas of business, innovation and agriculture. Owning and operating The Jungle Farm with her husband Blaine, the award winning farm and tourist destination has been in Leona’s family for 110 years. Since Leona and Blaine took over operations of the farm in 1996, they have thrived by positioning the farm as a tourist destination for families and consumers, and as a provider of quality fresh food products for the central Alberta community, in addition to their traditional grain and livestock operations. The farm hosts several family based activities, and features a variety of different projects, including a greenhouse, u-pick fruits and vegetables, and a seasonable vegetable box program that encourages consumers to eat healthy, fresh, locally produced food.

“I am honoured at my appointment to be the Chair of the Board of Governors at Olds College,” Staples asserts. “Agriculture is my passion, and with the College’s dedication to emerging technologies and Smart Agriculture, I look forward to working with the fellow members of the board as we help lead this industry into the future.”

Leona’s off-farm employment experience includes working for Alberta Agriculture as a District Home Economist, and managing the Goldeye Center, located near Nordegg, Alberta. She has an astounding record of voluntarism in local athletics, school organizations and regional and provincial agriculture groups. Leona has also been a guest speaker on agricultural entrepreneurship, innovation and women in agriculture at a number of national and international conferences.

Leona Staples is taking over from former Chair Robert (Bob) Clark.  Clark saw the College through years of great accomplishments, including growth of both programs and facilities.  As we welcome Leona Staples as our new Chair, we would like to thank Robert Clark for his years of dedication and service to Olds College.

Donna Maxwell has also been appointed to The Board of Governors of Olds College and brings with her expertise in governance, administration, and educational leadership. Board member Mark Kaun has been reappointed as a member of The Board of Governors of Olds College for his second term.