Richardson International has committed $15 million to developing its new research and demonstration farm southeast of Regina, close to the community — appropriately chosen — of Richardson.
Bennett Farm will be a 444-acre demonstration farm and training centre where the company and its partners will test seed varieties, crop inputs and equipment.
Richardson has operated Kelburn Farm, a 500-acre research farm and education facility south of Winnipeg since 1997. The company says Bennett Farm will be a sister farm to Kelburn and “will allow Richardson to gather more accurate information on how crops and products perform in different growing environments.”
“At Richardson, we are committed to furthering Canadian agriculture through research and development and growing our industry for the future,” said Curt Vossen, President and CEO of Richardson, announcing the investment at Bennett Farm on Wednesday. “While Kelburn Farm is a valuable resource for agriculture in Manitoba, we recognize that results might not be the same in other geographies. We are excited to establish Bennett Farm here in Saskatchewan, which is the heart of the growing region and our Richardson Pioneer network.”
Site work started last fall and is almost complete with construction of a machine shop, shed, storage bins and initial landscaping. The first crop was planted this spring, with tours planned for this summer. Phase Two will begin in 2017 with the construction of a new regional office for Richardson Pioneer, and in 2018, Phase Three will see the construction of a large training and events centre.
“Bennett Farm will be much more than a research facility. We are committed to making a significant investment in the province of Saskatchewan and creating a prominent education and training centre for students of all ages,” said Vossen.