Olds (Rural Roots Canada) – Two new programs at Olds College are aimed to prepare students for one of agriculture’s most transformative ages.

James Benkie is the Dean of the Werklund School of Agriculture.

He says the two programs are designed to help meet the demands of the industry and producers.

“We have a post-diploma certificate in agriculture technology integration, which aptly means taking technology’s hardwares and softwares and ensuring that they communicate and connect to one another to ensure producers are getting information to make effective decisions,” Benkie said.

Benkie says the other program focusses precision agriculture.

“It really is a data journey ensuring that students have a good understanding of not only the fundamentals of plants, soils, and water but also being able to understand the data collection and how that aligns into making decisions on-farm research with agriculture technology.”

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Benkie says they did a lot of work developing these programs, including talking to consultants and prospective students.

“We worked with students from Gr. 8 to Gr. 12 in our Alberta education system to validate interest and trigger words those types of kinds of concepts.”

He says they also worked heavily with industry.

“On just the need and the amount and the demand for new skills and resources moving into the future to help support them with their business plans.”

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He says students will also have access to the College’s Smart Farm, which features the most cutting edge equipment, apps, and platforms.

“These programs help align students to the exponential roadmap in agriculture and they are going to learn that through technology.  What we don’t know, we don’t know at this point so it definitely puts them on that thinking systems path to be able to be prepared and ready for the future changes that are coming in an accelerated manner in agriculture.”

Registration is for Fall classes are now open.

For more information on this program, click here.



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