Olds College signs MOU with Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

May 30, 2022 - Olds College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have signed an official memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in joint activities on the Olds College Saskatchewan Smart Farm including student work-integrated learning, technology demonstration and validation, and applied research activities.

Olds College recently expanded its Smart Farm operations into Saskatchewan for the 2022 growing season thanks to a pledge of 800 acres of land west of Craik, SK, from Margery Steckler and her late husband, George Steckler. The expansion of the Olds College Smart Farm into Saskatchewan provides a platform for Olds College to partner with post-secondary institutions, industry and local producers — including Sask Polytech — by providing ag-tech training and research opportunities that align and support the needs of Saskatchewan learners, producers and agriculture industry.

“Through our partnership with Sask Polytech, we are creating dynamic learning opportunities for students while working with industry and community partners to create innovative solutions through applied research,” comments Stuart Cullum, Olds College president. “Our Smart Farm ecosystem is a fundamental asset for industry, researchers, faculty and students to develop and integrate technology and best practice. The Olds College Saskatchewan Smart Farm gives us the opportunity to work closely with Sask Polytech to continue to provide technical solutions and training opportunities for the agriculture and agri-food industry — and develop solutions to real-world, everyday agricultural challenges.”

President and CEO of Sask Polytech, Dr. Larry Rosia, sees the collaboration with Olds College as a key opportunity to enhance the learning experiences and applied research environment for students and industry partners.

“With this MOU in place and the Olds College Saskatchewan Smart Farm located just a short drive from our campus, the growing partnership with Olds College continues to benefit our students, applied research activities, and the agriculture industry,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “Sask Polytech’s Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE) provides the expertise and facilities required to move smart farm technology forward. Our applied research experience and industry connections in the tech and agriculture sectors makes for a collaborative working relationship with Olds College — and provides our students with enhanced work-integrated learning experiences.”

The MOU was signed by Stuart Cullum and Dr. Larry Rosia at the Agriculture Equipment Technician Shop at Sask Polytech Saskatoon campus. Olds College and Sask Polytech have a pre-existing MOU signed in 2017 focused on exploring the demand for new collaborative programming and applied research into smart agriculture. The agreement today further benefits students and local producers with expanded collaboration and shared applied research activities on the Olds College Saskatchewan Smart Farm to advance agricultural training, applied research and commercialization in Western Canada.

The MOU initially covers a five-year period and will be governed by a joint committee of representatives from both institutions.

Olds MOU