Olds College president Tom Thompson (contributed photo).

Mountain View County donates $500,000 to Olds College’s new ag institute

A new hands-on program will be named for the county

Students can partner with world-class producers at Olds College’s new Werklund Agricultural Institute, which received a $500,000 donation from Mountain View County.

The gift will utilize the matching component of the $16-million donation made by David Werklund and Susan Norman in March, said Tanya McDonald, vice-president of advancement at Olds College.

She called Mountain View County one of the college’s strongest supporters, committed to students, programs and the viability of Central Alberta.

When completed, the Werklund Agricultural Institute (WAI) at Olds College “will be a hub for leadership, education, and applied research in smart agriculture.” Students will be able to partner with world-class producers through a full-year production cycle. In gratitude for the county’s support, this component will be named the Mountain View County Production Competition Program,” said McDonald.

Bruce Beattie, Reeve of Mountain View County, said there’s a role for government to invest in education. “These public – private partnerships can be beneficial… to ensure today’s and tomorrow’s learners are prepared for the ever-evolving world of modern agriculture,” he said.

Mountain View County’s has given the college more than $1-million over the years, including support for National Meat Training Centre and heavy equipment operator program.

“I would like to express our most sincere gratitude to Mountain View County for investing in… our students, and the future of Canadian agriculture by supporting smart agriculture,” states Tom Thompson, president of Olds College.

The institution plans to raise $40-million by 2020 for four projects: The WAI, The Animal Health Education Centre, The Hub: Integrated Learning Commons, and The Community Wellness Campus. For more information please visit oldscollege.ca/beyond.

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