Can cities play a major role in serving the agriculture industry? Calgary, Alta. has the potential to become a major agricultural hub —like St. Louis, Missouri, or Salinas, California — but not without its own set of challenges.

Our guest today on RealAg LIVE! is Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!

SUMMARY

  • Major study completed by the organization recently
  • How to support the local community and can Calgary be an agricultural hub?
  • Calgary Stampede only lasts 10 days
  • Has the city ignored ag, and focused too much on oil and gas?
  • The opportunities are pretty endless
  • SMART Ag corridor, supercluster, Olds College, they gave it a shot
  • There’s real opportunity is in embracing advanced technology across all industries
  • Build it and they will come?
  • The unused downtown offices should be filled again
  • City versus city in attracting businesses
  • Ag Tech doesn’t even have Calgary on their radar — they also don’t quite know where it is, so there’s that
  • What’s the focus? Fill the high-rises downtown or fill the processing spaces that are on the outskirts? Both and it’s about diversification
  • Incentives for start-ups? “A burgeoning tech eco-system”
  • The SmartFarm at Olds College is an asset because then that ag tech can be tested out there
  • Can easily align with the direction the federal government is going, leveraging those dollars
  • It’s a real brain map of how many subsectors there are in agriculture, lots of hurdles
  • Mary usually learns “five things before noon” in her role
  • What about producing food within city limits? Vertical farming is a tangible solution.
  • Leave no stone unturned
  • Encouraging companies to create their hubs in Calgary, and create job opportunities in addition to the hub
  • Eight per cent corporate tax rate…
  • Staying connected to what’s happening on the primary side. An ag roundtable
  • Aerospace, financial services, creative industries (film and television), life sciences
  • How to judge success? Jobs, diverse economy

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