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Olds College gets barley program

Olds College gets barley program

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry previously housed the Field Crop Development Centre

Staff Writer

Recently, representatives from Olds College and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry announced the transfer in oversight of the Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) to the college.

The two organizations reached a memorandum of understanding to enable Olds College to manage the FCDC, which includes the barley/triticale research program.

“This is a great opportunity, I think, for Olds College and the FCDC to continue the great work that they're doing,” said Stuart Cullum, president of the college. “It also brings some grant funding over to Olds College to support that program as well.”

The program’s funding comes from a $10.5-million grant from the province over three years. This transition also increases the acres in the college’s Smart Farm, said Cullum.

“Our Smart Farm increased by 500 acres as a result of the addition of the FCDC. It's now a 2,500-acre Smart Farm that focuses on applied research, demonstration, teaching and learning,” Cullum told

This transition gives students more opportunities to engage in applied research environments, said Cullum.

“It gives our learners that much more access to what's happening in the agricultural applied research space,” he said.

Olds College staff will continue to work with industry to ensure the FCDC remains successful, said Cullum.

“One of the things that will come out very quickly from this process is an engagement and consultation with our industry,” he said. “We will reach out to our industry, working with the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions in particular and other institutions like the University of Alberta, to explore how we can enhance and ensure the FCDC is delivering on what it needs to do for producers.”

This agreement between the province and Olds College is part of the government’s commitment to ensure farmers lead agricultural research priorities. Eventually, Results Driven Agriculture Research, an arm’s length, non-profit organization, will manage funding responsibility for the program, the release said.

Photo credit: Olds College photo

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