Agriculture Students in class

Olds College Supports Growth & Diversification Act

Agriculture Students in classMarch 15, 2018, Olds, Alberta - Olds College welcomes the Government of Alberta’s proposed Economic and Diversification Act, and the creation of 3,000 new spaces for technology programs in the post-secondary system.  As a leading post-secondary institution focused on agriculture and related fields for over 100 years, the College has delivered educational programming and applied research for students who are interested in pursuing dynamic careers in the agriculture sector.

“Today we are seeing an increase in the application of technology in all sectors and Olds College has several initiatives underway to respond to the corresponding demand for graduates who are as adept in the use of technology as they are in the practice of agriculture and food production,” comments Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College.

“Our industry is highly competitive globally in optimizing technology and science for the efficient use of land and water in agri-food production. This is essentially the definition of Smart Agriculture and Olds College is positioning to play a leadership role in supporting the industry  by developing hundreds of new learning spaces in the years ahead for Alberta students.”

One of the exciting smart agriculture initiatives currently taking place is the establishment of the Werklund Agriculture Institute, a hub for leadership, education and applied research in smart agriculture.  The Werklund Agriculture Institute will be home to a Smart Agriculture Community of Excellence which will link students to a community of industry leaders, researchers, investors, producers, technology companies, entrepreneurs and startups.  The Werklund Agriculture Institute will also deliver the Producer Mentor Program, which gives our students opportunities to partner with world class agriculture business leaders in a full cycle (yearlong) of agriculture production.

This spring, the College will be launching the Olds College Smart Farm. Working with industry partners from the ag and tech sectors, Olds College is incorporating commercially available smart connected products and connectivity & data management solutions to its existing farm operation in order to provide cutting-edge learning and applied research environments for students, lifelong learners, and industry partners.

“The Agriculture sector in Alberta is a key industry for our economic diversification and prosperity. Smart Agriculture that builds upon a history of economic and environmental sustainability will be key,” continues Cullum. “Technology and its effective use and integration will be a key enabler for the sector, and this will require significantly more spaces for teaching and learning. As a College we are looking at long-term plans to significantly increase enrollment in the agriculture technology stream. We applaud the Government of Alberta for investing in the technology sector and look forward to developing new and exciting learning experiences that support career opportunities throughout Alberta’s growing agriculture sector.”