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Second annual ‘A Celebration of Alberta Ag’ done and dusted!

April 21, 2022

Another one in the books! Olds College hosted its second A Celebration of Alberta Ag on Friday, April 8, 2022, with livestream viewers from all over Alberta, Canada and around the world, including North America, Germany, New Zealand, India, Ireland, Australia, Columbia, Nigeria, Saint Lucia and the Philippines. 


Hosted in the McLellan Arena on Olds College’s campus, the free two-hour live streamed event was once again emceed by Jeff Dyck, host of “The Big JD Morning Show” on 96.5 CKFM All Hitt Country, and featured live interviews, produced videos and performances by Alberta-bred, Nashville-based country music star Aaron Goodvin. The event also hosted approximately one hundred staff, faculty and students in-person.

Notable highlights from the evening include a feature on the Olds College Producer Panel, updates on the construction of the new Ag Tech Learning Hub and Animal Health Education Centre, as well as, recognizing Highfield Investment Group as Olds College’s 2021 Partner of the Year for their significant contributions to the College and our student’s futures. 

Other notable moments included a panel discussion around the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within a research team in providing valuable perspectives to projects.

“The diversity of the perspectives and the backgrounds that we have on the team really makes the Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) team a powerhouse within the research world,” comments Dr. Joy Agnew, Associate Vice President, Applied Research. “As EDI concepts become more important, we are incredibly proud to say that more than 60 per cent of our research team is female, and that trend is going to continue with the cohort of summer students who will be joining us in a month.”

Agnew was joined by fellow OCCI team members, Christina Kaye, Research Technician, Smart Agriculture Applied Research and Lorna Baird, Business Development Coordinator, Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production. 

“As we become more intentional about EDI at Olds College, we’re happy to see the many benefits of having a diverse team,” comments Baird. “From different personal backgrounds — urban or rural, from Canada or places around the world — the benefit of having those perspectives on our team is really enriching and it further enables the work we deliver.”

Conversation around diversity continued later on during the Associate Deans panel discussion where they spoke about the increase of both urban and international students within the student population.

“Urban learners add a tremendous value to Olds College,” added Lisa King, Associate Dean, Werklund School of Agriculture Technology. “We often refer to that dynamic as a relationship of respropsisity — the urban learners bring the lens of the consumer and the lens of technology to agriculture. Their questions and their curiosity drive curriculum change.”

King was also joined by Christine Chalaturnyk, Associate Dean, Werklund School of Agriculture Technology, Dennis Beaudoin, Associate Dean, School of Trades and Skills and Mary Dallas, Associate Dean, School of Life Science & Business.

“Agriculture is a variable industry in Alberta,” comments Dallas. “It doesn't matter if you weren’t born and raised on a family farm — there are many lucrative and exciting opportunities for you to work in Alberta ag.” 

Participation from Olds College executive team was represented by Stuart Cullum, President, Debbie Thompson, Vice President, Academic & Student Experience and Patrick Machacek, Vice President, Development & Strategy, all of which took the stage for live interviews. 

The College would like to send a huge thank you to all the viewers, volunteers, vendors and sponsors who helped to make the event a success.
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