Lakeland College looks to furth its agronomic research after receiving $150,000 in funding. Lakeland College Senior Executive Advisor for research, agriculture, and advancement, Tanya McDonald says with the funding the school will purchase a highly specialized plot combine to support Lakeland’s crop research program.
“The highly automated unit is really going to speed things up and make things accurate. We got well over 1,500 crop plots so you can imagine its quite a lot of work for our team.”
The post-secondary school received the grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s College and Community Innovation program earlier this week.
The quarter-million-dollar combine will assist in harvesting crop plots, calculating data needed for diverse research trials and will end up saving the crop research team manpower hours. McDonald believes the machinery will support student learning and the school’s industry partners in addressing any questions they may have.
Lakeland’s crop research program has a large group of partners such as Mosiac and producer commissions like Alberta Canola that are working with the school during research trials.
“It’s really going to promote the ability to do these trials and to further support the sustainability of the agriculture industry.”
As part of Lakeland’s student-managed learning model, more than 70 crop technology students are exposed to small-plot research activity annually. McDonald believes Lakeland is the right choice for anyone pursuing a career in agriculture with its student-led approach.
“It allows those students to be very hands-on, to be making decisions, to be working with industry partners on lead edge technologies and best practices. It’s such a cool opportunity for them to be real leaders and decision-makers early on in their school environment so they’re well prepared and employable.”
This is the second Applied Research Tools and Instruments Grant that Lakeland has received this year from the NSERC, the first helping with livestock technology.