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Finding solutions to ag challenges

Finding solutions to ag challenges

Post-secondary students from Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia take part in McDalBridge

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Students from three Canadian agricultural post-secondary programs are coming together to exchange ideas on how to solve issues facing the national farming industry.

A total of 15 students from Alberta’s Lethbridge College, Quebec’s McGill University and Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University will participate in the inaugural McDalBridge event at Lethbridge from Sept. 19 to 23.

The event is part of a two-year pilot program sponsored by Farm Credit Canada aimed at developing a national ag innovation design challenge.

The students will split up into teams, and each team will consist of members from each of the participating schools. They must come up with sustainable solutions to specific industry challenges posed by event organizers.

Bringing together schools from across the country ensures multiple farm factors are considered.

“We’ve chosen a challenge that will appeal across the country,” Megan Shapka, manager of innovation and entrepreneurship at Lethbridge College, told “The three schools represent three distinct agricultural regions, so we’re excited to see how their ideas come together collaboratively.”

Once the teams come up with their solutions, they will present their plans to local farmers who will provide feedback.

With autonomous equipment a reality and a focus on issues like labour and climate change, giving young ag minds a platform to explore ways of meeting industry challenges is important.

“Modern 21st-century agriculture is a crucial global industry utilising cutting-edge technologies and strategies to solve some of the most important challenges facing our planet,” David Gray, dean of agriculture at Dalhousie University, said in a Sept. 16 release. “It is essential that we give our students the opportunity to learn and think creatively and to innovate.”

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