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Olds College Receives More Than $3 Million from PrairiesCan

July 03, 2024

Olds College of Agriculture & Technology is receiving more than $3 million from Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) to expand Smart Farm operations into Saskatchewan and purchase new equipment to help further research agriculture challenges impacting the Prairies.

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Olds College was thrilled to host this funding announcement by PrairiesCan on campus at the Smart Farm Operations Centre on Wednesday, July 3. The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan with the Government of Canada was on site to announce the federal funding of more than $21 million for 14 projects to build Alberta’s value-added agricultural sector through commercializing and developing new products, applications and services.

“At Olds College, we work very hard to be at the leading edge of agriculture and technology in Alberta and around the world,” said Todd Ormann, Vice President, Development, Olds College. “We are extremely proud to be accelerating the development and adoption of agriculture technologies and practices, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and providing invaluable work-integrated learning for our students on the Olds College Smart Farm. By expanding our research and Smart Farm operations, we get additional opportunities to integrate agriculture technology into the classrooms for an enriched learning environment so our students get the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the agriculture industry.”


Also speaking at the event was The Honourable RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation with the Government of Alberta; Dr. Joy Agnew, Vice President, Research, Olds College; Glenn Wilde, Founder, Top Grade Ag; Brad Fournier, Director, Business Development, Pure Life Carbon; Ryan Brown, Director, Business Development, BiziSul Inc.; and Derek Leahy, Executive Director, Rural Routes to Climate Solutions, Stettler Adult Learning Centre.

“PrairiesCan was an early supporter of the Smart Farm and through on-going engagement and, including today's exciting announcement, has been a key contributor to the establishment and growth of the Olds College Smart Farm over the past 6 years,” says Dr. Agnew. “PrairiesCan's investment has resulted in measurable impact to the ag innovation ecosystem. The team at Olds College has engaged with hundreds of SMEs on projects to advance over 500 products and services. These engagements have resulted in the creation of almost 1,000 new jobs in the ag tech space and close to $1 billion in business revenues by the companies who have been able to benefit from the unique assets and expertise at the Smart Farm.”


Projects receiving this federal funding will have significant environmental and economic benefits across the province and its strong agricultural sector, including supporting more than 800 jobs and helping Alberta organizations take advantage of the numerous economic opportunities associated with value-added agriculture.

“Our government is making strategic investments to build on Alberta’s solid track record of commercializing innovative products, services, and technologies that the world needs,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. “The projects we’re announcing today will help ensure Alberta’s value-added agricultural sector can continue to capitalize on the opportunity to create new solutions that benefit both the economy and environment. These investments, in conjunction with the goals of the Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy, will help build a stronger and more sustainable economic future across the Prairies."


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