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Lakeland College Dean receives award for work in the dairy industry

Lakeland College’s Dean of Agricultural Sciences was honoured for her work in Alberta’s dairy industry.

Josie Van Lent was presented with the John J Kennelly Western Canadian Dairy Seminar Award of Merit for her contributions to the dairy industry in education, training and technology.

“I’m humbled and honoured,” Van Lent says. “I really think this award belongs to our teams at Lakeland especially in agriculture, our dairy teams, animal science teams and farm teams. They’re the people that make things happen everyday at our school.”

“I’m hoping it’s been inspiring for them to recognize that we are leaders in the dairy industry in Alberta in education and research,” she adds.

Van Lent first joined Lakeland College in 2007 and has been a part of expanding the agriculture and animal science programs. She helped establish a partnership between the post-secondary and Alberta Milk. During her time with the college, Van Lent helped open the Dairy Learning Centre at the Vermilion campus and developed the student-managed learning program.

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“Students in our dairy program actually manage our Dairy Learning Centre and everything that happens in that barn. The students are the reason that we do what we do. I think [they] also need to take a bow in regards to this award because they do a fantastic job of managing our dairy unit.”

Students manage over 300 dairy animals through the program and work regularly with industry partners. The centre contains several new technologies including robotic milking and feeding, data collection and herd navigator software that detects health issues in dairy cows.

Van Lent says the college will continue working on research projects at the centre which could be beneficial to the industry. She hopes to offer more courses using the centre in the future.

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