Olds College. (Advocate file photo).

Olds College to expand Smart Farm through $1.2 million land bequest

316-acre gift of land is near Carstairs

Olds College has been gifted 316 acres of agricultural land near Carstairs.

The $1.2-million property in Mountain View County is from the estate of Willem Pitstra. It will be used to expand the Olds College Smart Farm — a high-tech facility dedicated to transforming agriculture practices.

Agriculture education and research at Olds College will be advanced through the Smart Farm’s expansion, said vice-president Patrick Machacek.

Willem and Marrigje Pitstra’s daughter, Jackie Pitstra, said her parents would be thrilled to know the land will contribute to research that will improve farming.

“I believe my dad felt that … by donating to the school, he would be contributing towards a legacy of education for future generations.”

The Pitstras immigrated to Canada as young adults from Holland. They purchased a home in Calgary in 1968 and the farmland west of Carstairs in the 1980s.

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