In 1912, Alberta agriculture minister Duncan Marshall announced the province would construct three agricultural colleges. The Vermilion School of Agriculture, later rechristened Lakeland College, opened first. Olds College remain in operation, while the Claresholm School of Agriculture was shut down in the early 1920s.
On June 5, Bill 2, The Growth and Diversification Act, passed its third and final reading in the Alberta legislature. The Act supports the creation of 3,000 tech spaces in post-secondary institutions and the provision of scholarships. Those in the agricultural sector hope some seats will go to smart farming and food production programs, but this isn’t guaranteed.
Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Alberta Barley, Alberta Pulse Growers and Alberta Canola Producers have teamed up
with the university and Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) to fund positions in agricultural entomology, soil health and a third chair now in development, the details of which have not been announced. Once candidates are hired, matching funding will be sought from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
When you picture life on farm, what do you see? You might think of hayfields or cattle grazing in a pasture. Perhaps images of combines and tractors with seeding implements come to mind. But what about digital field maps, robots milking cattle or farmers using tablets in the field?