Lethbridge (Rural Roots Canada) — A long-standing partnership between Lethbridge College and Farming Smarter is growing.

The two have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further advance their work together.

Dr. Kenny Corscadden is the Vice President of the Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CARE) at the College.

He says the MOU will allow them to take advantage of mutual benefits.

“Funding opportunities and opportunities to enhance our dissemination of research activities into the industry,” Corscadden said.

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Students benefit 

Corscadden says the benefits for students are countless.

“Our students get access to real plots for their courses in our diploma in agriculture. Having a working farm with a lot of different research plots, it makes it very versatile so students get exposed to a wide range of different crops and opportunities.”

The partnership with Farming Smarter also allows the students to have more interaction with industry.

“They have opportunities with industry groups that we wouldn’t normally have for our students allowing them to get exposed to the industry.”

Corscadden says students really enjoy having access to real-world opportunities and plots which helps attract students in terms of the applied nature of the program and getting hands-on experience.

Research growth

Working on mutually beneficial projects will help both Farming Smarter and the college expand their research capabilities.

“We do complement each other in terms of our researchers, so that expands our research capacity.”

He says with the recent changes by the province to move to a research system that is farmer-led fits well with what they have been doing at Farming Smarter.

“This (direction) requires a lot more interaction with industry and I think the way Farming Smarter currently works, it’s going to benefit the college’s research and allow us to disseminate our information more easily and I think that will benefit the industry in the long-term.”

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Corscadden says the MOU is possible because of how easy it has been to work with everyone at Farming Smarter.

He adds this is only the start and believes there is a lot to come because of this partnership.

“As we both expand our research areas we are very excited to see where this partnership goes.  We are a post-secondary institution they are a not-for-profit charity and  I think there are bound to be benefits in terms of funding applications that we will see as we move forward.”