Telus Agriculture and Olds College


Olds College and TELUS Agriculture Create $1 Million Partnership

Telus Agriculture and Olds College

Olds, Alberta, December 1, 2020: TELUS Agriculture is investing $1 million in the Olds College Smart Farm to support the development, acceleration and integration of technology into the global agri-food value chain. This technology is critical to the future of agriculture and helps farmers and producers optimize operations and profits and access more accurate, timely data so they can make more informed decisions. It also supports more efficient and sustainable food production with fewer inputs and reduced waste.

The 2,800-acre Olds College Smart Farm will act as TELUS Agriculture’s living lab to conduct applied research and test the real-world application of new technology in a commercial-scale agriculture setting. Established in 2018, the Smart Farm provides agriculture and technology industries an innovation ecosystem that focuses on the challenges and opportunities that farmers face daily. As a commercial-scale sandbox to test technology, companies like TELUS can work with the industry to develop, scale, validate and demonstrate products that will support the sustainable production of food and other agriculture products for a growing global population. In addition, the Smart Farm offers students the next generation of agriculture talent the opportunity to learn and use new agtech in a cutting-edge, practical environment.

“Partnerships like these provide us with a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the advancement of the agri-food industry,” said Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “The Olds College Smart Farm was launched to be a next generation applied research and learning platform, where industry and students could engage in order to produce the next generation of leaders and leading companies. We are grateful to TELUS for their partnership and investment in our Institution and students.”

The investment in Olds College Smart Farm builds on TELUS Agriculture’s vision of creating a more connected and collaborative food system and commitment to leverage technology to help meet the needs of each contributor in the food value chain. For both TELUS Agriculture and Olds College, the partnership reflects the importance of collaboration between industry and academic institutions. It also is an investment in agriculture as a key economic driver and source of talent for Alberta and Canada, as well as the global food system. 

“With the launch of TELUS Agriculture, we made a commitment to invest in the agriculture industry, to drive technology adoption and innovation for better land stewardship, industry-wide profitability and more sustainable, efficient food production,” said Chris Terris, Vice President of Global Strategy, TELUS Agriculture. “The Smart Farm helps us understand the realities and challenges that farmers are facing and how technology can optimize food production and increase yields to meet the growing needs of our hungry planet. Investing in, and partnering with Olds College is a truly unique and win-win opportunity for TELUS Agriculture. We are proud to support the continued opportunities for innovation, education and collaboration that the college has built.”

On the Smart Farm, TELUS Agriculture has been able to test innovations like security solutions, weather stations, and field sensors in live conditions. The collaboration has also enabled TELUS to test ways to address rural connectivity issues by leveraging dead zones on the property.  The Smart Farm will also enable live condition testing for TELUS’ 5G network, which has the potential to enable faster, more reliable connections. 

Another TELUS Agriculture-sponsored solution in testing on the farm is Hummingbird Technologies’ artificial intelligence and remote-sourcing imagery solution that provides analytics to farmers, advisors and agri-businesses. Hummingbird processes image data to create a valuable analytics layer that helps ensure targeted applications are made to the right field areas and enables the early detection of issues that affect crop health and yields. Olds College is assessing the effectiveness of the software and if successful, the use of Hummingbird’s services could greatly increase the efficiency of a producer by cutting both costs and labour.

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