An agreement with the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will help Lethbridge College build upon its strengths as an applied research institution. The $2-million agreement adds established infrastructure and experienced staff members to the college’s applied research team and resources, increasing the college’s research capacity while benefiting all Albertans in the agriculture industry.
The agreement, announced on campus in October, will see management of the Alberta Irrigation Technology Centre (AITC) and the Brooks Greenhouse transfer to the college as part of its Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CARIE). The AITC and Brooks Greenhouse offer scientists opportunities to conduct research at a scale Alberta’s farmers can then apply to their operations. Lethbridge College will operate the facilities as workspace for agriculture researchers from across the industry — including post-secondary institutions, private industry and more.
“I’m happy to see Lethbridge College recognize the importance of this work,” says Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. “This agreement will create practical outcomes for Alberta’s agriculture industry. With the kind of innovation resulting from this research, Alberta will continue to attract food processing investment that will help lead our economic recovery.”
Under this new model, agricultural research in Alberta will lead to tangible benefits for farmers, including higher profits, a more abundant food supply at lower cost for consumers and ultimately a higher quality of life in rural communities. The new facilities and support personnel will enhance agriculture research activities already underway within CARIE, including the new Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre, the Mueller Applied Research Chair in Irrigation Science, the Applied Research Chair in Agricultural Engineering and Technology, and the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence.
“We’re extremely proud that our 30-year research history has been recognized,” says Dr. Kenny Corscadden, Lethbridge College Associate Vice President – Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “The addition of these facilities is relevant for our current areas of expertise, supporting greenhouse and field crop production, including irrigation and post-harvest technology.”
DID YOU KNOW…
…THE AITC SUPPORTS IMPROVED IRRIGATION WATER CONSERVATION, EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY WITH A FOCUS ON THE ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGIES AND AGRONOMIC PRACTICES. The facility is on 200 acres with three pivots and a total of 125 acres under irrigation.
…THE BROOKS GREENHOUSE GIVES ALBERTA SCIENTISTS THE SPACE TO TEST CROPS AND TECHNOLOGY ON A COMMERCIAL SCALE. The facility makes it possible to collaborate with scientists doing greenhouse research in Canada and internationally. It opens another avenue for Alberta researchers to supplement their regular field programs with some added greenhouse projects.
…THE CENTRE FOR APPLIED RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (CARIE) IS A CATALYST FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH, SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE REGION. Lethbridge College was named one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges in 2019. CARIE earned a Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) national gold award for recognizing the “extraordinary contributions” of CARIE for improving the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises and community partners.