The school will use the funding to build an innovation lab
By Diego Flammini
A major donation from an Alberta co-op will help further agricultural innovation.
United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative (UFA) committed $500,000 to Olds College over five years.
The school will use a portion of the money to build the UFA Innovation Lab, a space where students can collaborate on ideas and test new technology. The lab could be ready to accept students as early as December.
“Not only is the donation from UFA an investment in the student experience but it’s an investment in the future of agriculture,” Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College, said in a statement yesterday.
Students can “test innovative products and processes, and ultimately express their entrepreneurial creativity in ways that will make a positive impact on Alberta’s agriculture sector,” he added.
The funding will also support the Olds College Smart Farm, which provides students with hands-on learning experiences.
UFA executives feel the donation is good business for the company.
“We’re looking for ways to share with our members more efficient farming practices or products, as well as investing in young farmers and the future leaders of our industry,” Rob Giguere, vice president of commercial agribusiness for UFA, told Farms.com.
“Part of the innovation lab will help students develop new ideas for the industry, but also provide mentorship on how to bring those ideas to market.”
Delanie Knull, an ag management student, is encouraged by UFA’s donation.
“As an agriculture student, you sometimes wonder what the future of farming looks like,” she said yesterday, the Red Deer Advocate reported. “It’s encouraging that organizations like UFA place value in investing in my future, which I think looks very bright.”
Farms.com has reached out to UFA and Olds College for comment on the donation.
Olds College photo