Students at Olds College will be learning what's new in agricultural technology at the facility's Smart Farm. (Photo contributed)

Olds College partners with Cervus Equipment to help operate Smart Farm

Olds College and Cervus Equipment will collaborate in the operation of Smart Farm.

The two parties made a five-year agreement, which will see Cervus provide John Deere farm equipment and labour needed to manage the crop and in-field operation of the 380-acres of farmland.

Cervus in turn will use the Olds College Smart Farm as a training and demonstration site for employees and customers.

“This is a great opportunity for the college to have access to state-of-the-art commercial farm equipment,” said Patrick Machacek, vice president, development and strategy in a press release.

“The Olds College Smart Farm was designed as a farm of the future with a primary focus on generating and utilizing data to enhance productivity, sustainability, and profitability.”

The two groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding last spring which allowed a full fleet of John Deere equipment to support the management of the farm for the 2020 growing season. They will also be developing customized training for stakeholders and customers who can benefit from the utilization of agriculture technology and Cervus-supplied farm equipment.

“Our partnership with the Olds College Smart Farm allows us to use the data generated from the farm to find better ways to utilize the land and the inputs used to grow,” said Kyle Henderson, director of product support for Cervus Equipment.

“Our partnership also allows the Cervus team to operate in the field and work with the data generated. Collecting and finding insights from this data helps us to deliver new ways for our customers to be more productive on their own farm.”

The Smart Farm is a 2,000-acre plot of land used by the college for existing agriculture operations, and applied research programming, as well as to provide product development and demonstration venue to accelerate agriculture technology and agri-food development.

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