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RBC Foundation supports Olds College with $150,000 investment in Controlled Environment Agriculture

June 16, 2023


The RBC Foundation has committed $150,000 to Olds College of Agriculture & Technology with the aim of promoting and advancing research and innovation in the field of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). This generous funding will play a pivotal role in the development of educational resources, training materials, and essential infrastructure for the creation of CEA programs.

CEA, which includes practices like indoor farming or vertical farming, uses technology and controlled conditions to optimize crop yields while minimizing environmental impact. It overcomes traditional agricultural challenges and offers benefits such as sustainable, year-round production, reduced loss, and a smaller carbon footprint.

The partnership between the RBC Foundation and Olds College will fuel the growth of CEA by providing students with hands-on learning experiences, internships, and research projects alongside industry leaders. The partnership aims to address the employment gap by providing education and training in CEA to support industry growth. Ultimately, the partnership will help prepare the next generation of agricultural leaders to address global food security challenges and contribute to a sustainable future.

“We are proud to partner with Olds College in this significant investment,” said Ron Sauve, Regional Vice President, Alberta Central, RBC. “By supporting the development of CEA programs, we are nurturing innovation and equipping students with the skills needed for the future of sustainable farming. This collaboration reflects our commitment to empowering Canadian youth and driving positive change in the agricultural industry."

Over the course of three years, the funding is set to benefit approximately 1,880 students, equipping them with the latest knowledge and skills in CEA, covering topics such as environmental factors, hydroponic and aeroponic systems, data analysis and precision agriculture.

"We are incredibly grateful for the generous support from the RBC Foundation,” said Dr. Ben Cecil, President, Olds College of Agriculture & Technology. “This funding will enable us to enhance our controlled environment agriculture programming and provide our students with valuable hands-on experiences and industry partnerships. Together with the RBC Foundation, we are preparing the next generation of agricultural leaders to tackle global food security challenges and build a more sustainable future."

The partnership is part of RBC's Future Launch initiative, a long-term commitment to investing $500 million over ten years to support Canadian youth as they prepare for future jobs and opportunities.

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