Olds College will be home to Alberta’s field crop development centre.
The program will be funded through an initial three-year, $10.5-million grant and will give the college an opportunity to fund more world-leading research.
“Olds has long been the centre of agriculture research innovation, so it was a natural fit,” said Agriculture Minister Deven Dreeshen.
“From practical on-farm applications to advanced technical training, the college has helped build modern agriculture in Alberta.
“Tremendous barley varieties have been developed under Alberta’s barley breeding program, and a more farmer-focused research program under Olds College will just make a good thing better.”
Alberta’s barley breeding program has successfully developed and introduced several varieties used for livestock feed and for the growing craft brewery market, both in domestic and international markets.
Olds College president Stuart Cullum welcomed the addition to the college’s applied research programs.
“Olds College is focused on delivering research programming that is centred on the needs of producers and industry partners, and we are committed to collaborating with key stakeholders throughout the sector in order to sustainably position and grow barley research here in Alberta,” said Cullum.
Alberta Barley Commission chair Dave Bishop applauded the initiative.
“Barley is an important crop in Alberta for both the livestock sector and the brewing industry. We are pleased to see the continuation of a barley breeding centre in our province, where over half of Canada’s barley is grown, and look forward to working with Olds College in bringing new varieties to market that improve the bottom lines of Alberta farmers.”