TELUS Agriculture is investing $1 million in Olds College’s 2,800-acre Smart Farm.
The investment will support the development, acceleration, and integration of technology into the global agri-food value chain. It will also support the goals of more efficient and sustainable food production with fewer inputs and reduced waste.
The Olds College Smart Farm will act as TELUS Agriculture’s living lab to conduct applied research, and test the real-world application of new technology in a commercial-scale agriculture setting.
Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College, says that partnerships like these provide a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the advancement of the agri-food industry.
“The Olds College Smart Farm was launched to be a next generation applied research and learning platform, where industry and students could engage in order to produce the next generation of leaders and leading companies. We are grateful to TELUS for their partnership and investment in our Institution and students,” Cullum explains.
Established in 2018, the Smart Farm provides agriculture and technology industries with an innovative ecosystem to focus on the challenges and opportunities that farmers face daily.
As a commercial-scale sandbox to test technology, companies like TELUS can work with industry to develop, scale, validate and demonstrate products that will support the sustainable production of food and other agriculture products for the growing global population. In addition, the Smart Farm offers students – the next generation of agriculture talent – the opportunity to learn and use new agtech in a cutting-edge, practical environment.
Chris Terris, vice president of global strategy for TELUS Agriculture says the Smart Farm helps them understand the realities and challenges that farmers are facing, and how technology can optimize food production and increase yields.
“With the launch of TELUS Agriculture, we made a commitment to invest in the agriculture industry, to drive technology adoption and innovation for better land stewardship, industry-wide profitability and more sustainable, efficient food production,” says Terris. “Investing in, and partnering with Olds College is a truly unique and win-win opportunity for TELUS Agriculture. We are proud to support the continued opportunities for innovation, education and collaboration that the college has built.”