The use of technology in the world of agriculture is increasing and ever-changing, and Hanlon Ag Centre is helping to make sure that Lethbridge College students have the newest and best technology and expertise available to help them learn.
Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. is continuing its long-standing support of Lethbridge College by providing equipment, installation and training on its precision agriculture system. Hanlon Ag will provide and install the hardware and software associated with its CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) network, and provide training on the system to Lethbridge College faculty. The gift, valued at nearly $100,000, will be of immediate benefit to students in the Agricultural and Heavy Equipment Technician certificate and apprenticeship programs.
“When we speak about important industry partnerships, this is exactly what we have in mind,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “We are thankful that Hanlon Ag sees the benefit of supporting students through a practical gift that will allow them to learn on the equipment they will be using once they begin their careers. Our students’ educations will be enhanced by Hanlon Ag’s generosity.”
The CORS network uses satellite data to improve the precision of positioning of equipment in a variety of industries. The agreement with Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. will include the installation of a receiver in an on-campus tractor for use in agriculture equipment purposes, however the technology could eventually be expanded to also benefit students in the Agriculture Sciences and Geomatics Engineering Technology programs.
“This equipment and technology will give students an insight into real-world applications they will encounter in their future careers,” says Keith Shirakawa, co-owner of Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. “This partnership will benefit Lethbridge College, Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. and the local agriculture industry for years to come.”
Hanlon Ag Centre’s unofficial partnership with Lethbridge College goes back more than 30 years, through the loaning of equipment. Hanlon Ag’s first official gift to the college was in 2004 and since then Hanlon has given almost $300,000 worth of sponsorship, equipment, gift-in-kind and financial contributions to the college. A $100,000 gift to the Possibilities Are Endless campaign in 2014 led to the creation of the Hanlon Ag Centre Heavy Equipment Bay in the Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility. Hanlon Ag was also a partner when the college became the first post-secondary institute in Canada to sign an AGCO Advantage Partnership agreement with AGCO Corporation in 2016.
“Hanlon Ag is dedicated to helping Lethbridge College students achieve success – not for the recognition, but just because that is who they are,” says Sheldon Anderson, Dean of the Centre for Trades. “This organization has always had a ‘we can make this work’ attitude when approached for support and they have always gone above and beyond. This particular donation makes it possible for students in all these programs to become leaders in autonomous control fields.”
Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. was started by Tim Hanlon in 1984. Today, the company’s partnership group includes Keith Shirakawa, Mike Anderson, Brendon Hanlon and Shane Mann. Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. sells, services and provides parts for all major brands of agricultural equipment. The company’s mission is to carry inventory that features only the best agricultural equipment lines in the world and to provide unparalleled service to back them up. Hanlon Ag Centre Ltd. has 19 Lethbridge College alumni and four current Lethbridge College apprentices among its staff.