Lethbridge College says it will set up a new centre to help farmers and food processors tap into the latest research and the expertise of its staff after receiving a $1.75-million grant.
The Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre is one of six new technology access centres being funded by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
“The Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre will help to drive forward one of the country’s most important industries and provide a boost to the provincial economy,” said college president and CEO Paula Burns.
The centre will offer crop and greenhouse growers, food processors, and ag-tech companies access to applied R&D, technical services, consulting and training, with a focus on the college’s core research areas of aquaculture, crop production and wet processing.
“Agriculture is one of our region’s largest industries with more than 900 farms, many of which are small- or medium-size enterprises, generating $1.1 billion per year,” said Kenny Corscadden, the college’s associate vice-president of research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The college is home to the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence, the Mueller Applied Research Chair in Irrigation Science and an applied Research Chair in Agricultural Engineering and Technology.
“The ability to support local agriculture enterprises and help them grow and scale represents a huge opportunity for the college and community, especially at a time of great uncertainty and change in the Canadian and global economy,” said Megan Shapka, manager of the new centre.