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Olds College Receives the Gift of Land


AgSmart to Showcase the Future of Ag

Spring 2019

Olds College Launches New Ag Tech Credentials Spring 2019 1

Planned Giving

Growing Greater Futures By making a planned gift to Olds College, you plant seeds for a brighter future and ensure that opportunities for education and research will be available for years to come. Your agricultural legacy can begin today!

Types of Planned Gifts: • • • •

Bequests through your will. Real property such as a farm or ranch. Securities including stock, bonds, and mutual funds. Life insurance policies.

For more information, please contact Olds College Development at or by telephone at 403.556.8232.

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Table of Contents 04 President's Message 06 Women’s Basketball Team Wins National Championship 08 Olds College Receives Gift of Land 10 AgSmart to Showcase the Future of Ag 12 Inspiring Wellness on Campus 14 Olds College Homestead Feast 17 Affinity Program 18 Olds College Launches New Ag Technology Credentials

20 Smart Farm Developing A Purpose Built Network 22 Pilot Program Matches Students with Industry Mentors 24 Growing our Partnership with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) 26 Olds College Farm Earns Beef Sustainability Approval 28 Wetlands Tackling Contamination Using Native Plants 30 Olds College Retail Meat Store, Brewery 31 Upcoming Events, Alumni Reunion

Horizons Spring 2019

Horizons is published by Olds College Corporate Communications & Marketing. The magazine is mailed to alumni and friends of Olds College. To Reach Us:

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Communications & Marketing Olds College, 4500-50 Street, Olds, Alberta, T4H 1R6

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Spring 2019 3

Olds College

President's Message Olds College is a special place. I believe what sets us apart is a common purpose. Everything we do at the College is centred around creating an exceptional learning environment for our students, and working together to advance all aspects of the agriculture industry. This is evident in the College’s social purpose: “Transforming agriculture for a better world.� As a post-secondary institution we have a pivotal role to play to provide an environment where our producers, industry partners, faculty and students can explore the challenges facing the ag sector and together investigate the solutions. Technology on its own is not the solution. The solution is all of us working together to determine how we can use technology, data and expertise in the most effective way, to address the challenges and opportunities that exist to evolve our existing agriculture practices. This is the driving force behind the Olds College Smart Farm.

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The Olds College Smart Farm builds upon our existing agriculture operation and provides a living lab for innovation and hands-on learning. It is a place to work on common challenges, by developing, validating and demonstrating agriculture technology and practices. With the generous gift of land from the Pitstra family, we will be expanding our smart farm to include another 316 acres of farmland west of Carstairs, Alberta.

The ag sector is experiencing a data revolution. This revolution has created demand for a new kind of ag technology skill set required for the job market. Olds College will be launching new agriculture technology programming to address this need in the industry.

Our new agriculture technology integration post-diploma certificate and precision agriculture - techgronomy diploma are designed to attract a broad range of students: traditional ag students coming to us from the farm, and also students who are highly interested in technology and data science.

Partnerships play a very important role in the success of the College, and have a large impact on the lives of our students and the quality of their education. I hope you enjoy reading about some of the exciting partnerships and initiatives that are taking place at the College in this issue of Horizons.

Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College

The new ag technology programming and our current agricultural management programs are both enhanced by the Olds College Smart Farm.

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Broncos Athletics

Women’s Basketball Team Wins National Championship Congratulations to the Olds College Women’s Basketball team, the 2019 Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) National Champions!

The Broncos travelled to Cégep de SainteFoy in Quebec City as Alberta Collegiate Athletics Conference (ACAC) Champions, and took home Olds College’s first ever CCAA National Championship after a thrilling final against the hometown favourites Dynamiques de Sainte-Foy. The Broncos’ season to remember was capped by forward Brittney Thibeaux being named CCAA Player of the Year, as well as taking home CCAA Championships Most Valuable Player, and a spot on the All-Canadian team. Teammates Kyla Adams and Kristina Bajovic were named as tournament First Team All-Stars. Broncos Coach, Avery Harrison, joined elite company by winning his fifth ACAC Coach of the Year award, his first with the Broncos.

Catch all of the exciting Broncos news and game schedules at

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Growing Legacies

Olds College Receives the Gift of Land Olds College has received an incredible gift of 316 acres of farmland located near Carstairs, Alberta, from the estate of Willem Pitstra. Valued at $1.2 million, the land will be used to expand the Olds College Smart Farm, a high-tech farm that is transforming agriculture practices through applied research, education and demonstrating cuttingedge ag technologies. “The Smart Farm is providing a dynamic learning environment for our students and lifelong learners by providing a hands-on venue for industry to develop, integrate and test new agriculture technology that will evolve our current ag practices,” comments Patrick Machacek, Vice President, Development and Strategy, Olds College. “Thanks to this generous gift, Olds College is transforming agriculture education and research by allowing us to expand our Smart Farm.”

“Both my parents would be thrilled to know that the farmland will be contributing to research that will improve farming practices in Alberta and around the world,” says their daughter, Jackie Pitstra. “I believe my Dad felt that the college would appreciate the land, and that by donating to the school he would be contributing towards a legacy of education for future generations.” Willem and Marrigje (Mar) Pitstra were both from Holland and immigrated to Canada as young adults. They met in Canada and purchased a home in Calgary, AB in 1968. The couple purchased farmland west of Carstairs, in the 1980s. Willem was a welder specializing in pressure welding, and worked throughout southern Alberta on many projects including the ice arena at the Calgary Saddledome. Growing up during the Second World War and the occupation of Holland, educational opportunities were limited. That is why the Pitstra’s deeply valued education, and it was of high importance during the upbringing of their three children. Marrigje was a self-taught horticulturist, a member of the Calgary Horticulture Society and award-winning gardner. It is so fitting and a great honour that Olds College has received this gift of land from a couple who displayed love for the trades, horticulture and agriculture. Thank you to the Pitstra family for this generous gift that will have a lasting impact on agriculture education.

For more information on the Olds College Smart Farm visit Spring 2019 9

August 13 & 14, 2019 Olds College

Growing Profits With Data

AgSmart to Showcase the Future of Ag Have you ever wondered how harnessing new technology can improve the efficiency, sustainability, and profitability of Canadian farms and ranches? The Smart Agriculture movement is growing at an exponential rate, thanks to the foresight and collaboration among industry stakeholders, to meet the demand to increase food production while efficiently, and sustainably using resources.

AgSmart Keynote Speakers Rob Saik, CEO – Dot Ready Retail, Saik Management Group (top) and Greg Johnson, The Tornado Hunter (bottom).

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So what does this mean for producers in the Agri-Food industry? What emerging technologies are available that will increase efficiency and sustainability, while decreasing production costs? How do farmers set themselves up for success in an industry that is seeing rapid growth in automation, artificial intelligence and data analysis? How will emerging technology and data analysis trends affect the future of the agriculture industry? These topics will be explored at AgSmart, a revolutionary farming expo hosted by Olds College and Agri-Trade. During the two-day AgSmart event, guests will have the opportunity to interact with ag tech experts and experience the latest in emerging technologies and innovations first-hand. AgSmart is highlighted by field-demonstrations, education workshops and an exhibit fair that profiles the latest commercialized products that are transforming the agriculture industry.

A hands-on demonstration and education exposition focused on technology and data across the agriculture sector – how to gather it, and how to use it to enhance productivity and profits.

Visit to register & for more info!

1 Day Full Access Pass

2 Day Full Access Pass

General Admission Tickets

$100 each

$165 each

$20 each

Includes access to keynotes, seminars, workshops, sessions, outdoor demos and exhibits.

Includes access to keynotes, seminars, workshops, sessions, outdoor demos and exhibits.

Includes access to outdoor demos and exhibits.

Great Albertan BBQ Presented by ATB Financial. A celebration of Alberta’s agriculture industry, the BBQ will feature a 90-minute concert by acclaimed country singer Drew Gregory, presented by Cervus Equipment and will serve a field to fork menu showcasing locally sourced ingredients. Tickets are $40 each.

Agriculture Technology Demos

Education Workshops

See the newest ag technology in action, including:

AgSmart will feature several Education Workshops, including:

The Dot Autonomous Farming System. Powered by a Cummins Diesel, Dot is a 100% Autonomous Robotic U-shaped designed power platform that is capable of connecting with a wide variety of Dot Ready Implements such as the SeedMaster 30’ SR Drill, the New Leader Precision Fertilizer Spreader and featured at the show, the 120 foot boom, 1600 gallon and state-of-the-art Pattison Connect Sprayer.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in Crop Production by LandView Drones.

Olds College Smart Farm Campus Tour by Olds College.

Ag Maximizer Hay Dryer by Agri Green Enterprises and much more!

Data and Technology for Grain Storage Dr. Joy Agnew, Olds College

Trade and Technology: An Important Piece of the Global Puzzle Cherilyn Joly-Nagel, The Global Farmer Network

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Manage Livestock from Above Dr. John Church – Thompson Rivers University

To see the entire lineup of workshops and demos, and to purchase tickets visit

Volunteer Opportunities

Sign up to volunteer at and fill out the volunteer form or call 403.507.7953.

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Improving Mental Health

Inspiring Wellness on Campus Did you know that one-in-five Canadians experience mental illness during their lifetime, with many of these disorders beginning in adolescence? According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), this statistic also follows true for access to mental health care, with only one-in-five youth with a mental health illness having access to the care they need. The health and wellness of students is key to their success as they graduate and join the workforce. Having access to programs that support or act as a guiding hand can mean the difference between graduating with employment opportunities, or not completing a program.

Knowing the importance of health and wellness programs, Olds College offers all students the tools they need to be successful while completing their education. Student and staff health and wellness programs currently available on campus include: pet therapy, massage therapy, meditation and yoga classes, medical clinic, counselling, and testing and tutoring services. “Having access to on-campus health and wellness programs has been instrumental to my success so far,” Laura McKinnon, Students’ Association President and Environmental Science student at Olds College. To help enhance the current offering, Olds College recently received a five-year $250,000 commitment from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which will fund the RBC Wellness Sessions. The RBC Wellness Sessions will include:

Increasing counselling services to students by providing evening group sessions throughout the academic year.

Specialized group counselling sessions for underrepresented student groups, such as: LGBTQIA+, International, Substance Abuse and Sexual Health.

Enhanced Indigenous Cultural Awareness and Inclusiveness sessions.

Respect in School training to raise awareness of and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

To celebrate the new partnership with RBC, Olds College held a Wellness Fair featuring pet therapy, meditation, yoga, massage, health services and LGBTQIA+ information booths and Indigenous Centre access for students, faculty and staff on February 28, 2019. “We know in order to offer our students enhanced health and wellness services, we need the support of our industry partners,” says Olds College President, Stuart Cullum. “Support from partners who share the same values. Partners who understand that a healthy, vibrant and enthusiastic workforce is critical to the success of our province and country.” The RBC Wellness Sessions are currently underway with even more health and wellness programing in the works.

To learn more, visit student-health-wellness.

Photo Caption: Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College, Debbie Thompson, Vice President, Academic and Student Experience, Laura McKinnon, student and Dennis Small, Vice President, Agriculture and Commercial Central Alberta at RBC Royal Bank. Spring 2019 13

Celebrating Olds College

Homestead Feast Olds College welcomed over 275 guests to the second annual Homestead Feast held on Friday, April 12. A celebration of Alberta's Agriculture industry, guests were served a delicious meal featuring ingredients from local producers, and entertained by local musician Jake Peters and country singer Cole Martin. A highlight of the evening was the beautiful performance by 2019 Calgary Stampede First Nations Princess Astokomii Smith, a Fancy Shawl dancer from Siksika First Nation. Hosted by our student hosts, Jamie Kuzma and Davis Clarke, the evening also showcased the Olds College Smart Farm and the new Agriculture Technology Programs that the College is launching. UFA was also honoured as Olds College's 2019 Partner of the Year.

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With your support we raised over $45,000 for the Olds College Smart Farm. Students in our Agricultural Management and new Ag Technology programs will have state of the art, hands-on learning environments.

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Thank you to our

Homestead Feast Sponsors

Title Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Diamond Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Pewter Sponsors

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Rewards and Discounts

Affinity Program All members of the Olds College Alumni Association are able to take advantage of our Affinity Partnerships. That means that every current or former student, staff, or faculty member can take advantage of the rewards and discounts with the following partners:







Tamarack Trail Gallery To order your Affinity Card or discuss becoming an Affinity Partner, please contact development@ or 403.556.8232. Experience more at

An exciting benefit for you as Olds College Alumni. Get preferred rates and coverage that fits your needs.

Take advantage of your Alumni benefit. You have access to the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program. This means you can get preferred insurance rates on a wide range of home, condo, renter’s and car coverage that can be customized for your needs. For over 65 years, TD Insurance has been helping Canadians find quality insurance solutions. Feel confident your coverage fits your needs. Get a quote now.

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Get a quote and see how much you could save ! Call 1-888-589-5656 or go to The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY. It is distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. in Québec, by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in Ontario, and by TD Insurance Direct Agency Inc. in the rest of Canada. Our address: 50 Place Crémazie, 12th Floor, Montréal, Québec H2P 1B6. Due to provincial legislation, our car and recreational insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. All trade-marks are the property of their respective owners. ® The TD logo and other TD trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

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A New Era of Technology Training

Olds College Launches New Ag Technology Credentials Olds College has been approved to offer two exciting new credentials in Agriculture Technology.

Working with industry partners and producers over the last two years, Olds College identified a significant skills gap exists within the agriculture industry when it comes to supporting producers adopting new technology. In response to this skill gap, Olds College is launching new programs in agriculture technology, including the Agriculture Technology Post Diploma Certificate, and the new Precision Agriculture - Techgronomy diploma.

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Post-Diploma Certificate in Agriculture Technology Integration The post-diploma certificate in Agriculture Technology Integration is designed for students who already hold a diploma or degree. The certificate will provide students with an understanding of how related technologies and components interact to provide accurate information, realtime monitoring and controls to the producer. It is designed to welcome students with a diploma or degree in the areas of mechanics, agriculture, land, environment, technology, engineering, information systems, journeyman agriculture equipment technicians or heavy equipment technicians. The program will bridge the gap between these fields and the emerging agriculture technology industry.

Diploma in Precision Agriculture - Techgronomy The new diploma in Precision Agriculture - Techgronomy will meet the needs of producers, who face an increasing amount of new technologies on the market, and a lack of skilled workers with the training to properly utilize this technology. This program will train students to use the tools of Ag Tech, along with the skills of agronomy, to help farmers and food producers reach specific outcomes in their farm or agribusiness. Students will experience in-class and hands-on training that help them understand how agronomy, agriculture machinery management and data sciences are connected, and how to integrate the concepts and technologies of precision technology and agronomy to enhance decisionmaking systems. Students will explore a variety of new technologies and methods, including sensing technology, geographic information systems, moisture and nutrient measurement, autonomous vehicles, equipment drive decision-making variable rate technology, real time data and forecasting crop inputs. Graduates of Precision Agriculture - Techgronomy will be prepared to meet new technologies head on, in order to stay on top of the ag technology industry as it continues to develop. “We know that through the use and integration of technology the ag sector is better able to use data to make informed decisions on the farm for enhanced production and profitability,” comments Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “Our new programs will provide students with an understanding of the value proposition of new technologies and solutions as farming practices continue to change and evolve in today’s high-tech environment.”

Applications for both new programs open October 1, 2019, with the first intake of students on campus for fall 2020. For more information on the new Agriculture Technology credentials at Olds College, visit

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Integrating Technologies

Smart Farm Developing A Purpose Built Network Members of the Olds College Smart Farm team recently traveled down under, to Australia, to learn about some of the agricultural innovations being developed across the globe.

The journey gave the team an opportunity to visit a number of post-secondary institutions, farms, and agriculture and technology industry experts. During their visit, the team also met with world leaders in science based networks, ICT International, about a new piece of technology for the smart farm called a purpose built network. Working with ICT International, an Australian company that designs, develops and manufactures quantitative monitoring technologies for plants, soil and water, the Olds College Smart Farm will be installing a purpose built network that leverages a wireless communication protocol called LoRAWAN. The purpose built network will connect many different sensors into a single network, allowing all of the data to be visualized in a web based app. The Smart Farm team can access the information from anywhere with an internet connection.

Photo Caption: Jason Bradley, Director, Smart Ag, installs a soil sensor into the Olds College Smart Farm.

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“As we install new features into the Smart Farm, we have learned that we need to go further than collecting, measuring and analyzing data independently. We need to develop an infrastructure that will allow us to integrate all of our technologies together,” explains Jason Bradley, Director of Smart Ag, Olds College. “The purpose built network will allow us to collect our data in a central location and make informed decisions to help us run the farm more efficiently.”

Through the purpose built network, the College will be able to monitor soil moisture, the amount of light a crop is getting (also referred to as light interception), along with canopy temperature and digital weather station data. Tree growth will also be monitored using dendrometer sensors that measure the growth of the tree circumference. On the livestock side, the purpose built network will collect data on remote livestock water levels, including creeks and dugouts, and electric fence status.

The purpose built network allows data to be collected within a 10 to 15 kilometer radius. One network will be installed in the Olds College home quarter, located at the Olds campus. A second solar powered network will be installed into the Smart Farm land located west of Carstairs, Alberta. The data from both networks will be displayed in the same platform.

“This truly is an exciting and encouraging step forward in our Smart Farm development,” explains Bradley. “By collecting all of our data and storing it in the cloud, we will be able to see how the data from the different devices can work together, helping us make decisions that will optimize our operations. Using all of this data together will help us to determine when to spray for fungicides and herbicides, or apply a topical nutrient, for example. We want to learn how to produce more by using less, and this is the first step in this process.” Installing the purpose built network will allow the College to lead a connected Smart Farm network on a regional, provincial, and national scale, and contribute to a global smart farm network that will include producers, industry and post-secondary institutions around the world.

For more information on the Olds College Smart Farm, visit

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Young Ag Leaders Mentorship

Pilot Program Matches Students with Industry Mentors Olds College has developed an exciting new pilot program, the Young Ag Leaders Mentorship program, which connects eager third-year Bachelor of Applied Science – Agribusiness students with enthusiastic industry supporters of youth in agriculture. The program is designed to help students broaden their understanding of careers in the agriculture industry, and to encourage the development of their future goals.

With the support, guidance and collaboration of their industry mentor, Olds College student mentees identify their future goals and possible careers in the agriculture industry, discuss potential opportunities and establish strategies and methods of how these goals and opportunities may be met. Brittany Scott, a current Olds College student was paired up with Craig Shand, Agronomist and owner of Chinook Agronomics. “I requested a mentor in the crop industry because I felt that would help me become a more well-rounded professional, and help to prepare me for working in the crop industry,” Brittany explains. “Craig has been a great source of industry information for me. He answered a lot of questions, and has explained how the industry works. He also recommended some additional information for me to read, which was very helpful.” “This summer, I will be going with Craig to do some sampling and field tests. Working with Craig will give me experiences that I might not have received without the mentorship. I would recommend that all students sign-up for the program in the future,” comments Brittany. With the pilot program a success, the College plans to grow the Young Ag Leaders Mentorship program. “We are looking for mentors from a variety of backgrounds and locations, to help find ideal matches for our students,” explains Andrea Mix, Instructor and Young Ag Leaders program developer. “As long as our mentors are enthusiastic about helping young people in the agriculture industry, and have the experience to offer some unique guidance, they are a fit. Location does not matter, only the ability and willingness to connect with students.” Mentors are asked to commit approximately six to eight months to the program, beginning in September 2019.

The College will provide resources and support throughout the mentorship relationship to help mentors and students succeed. Ag industry experts who would like to participate in the Young Ag Leaders Mentorship program are asked to contact Andrea Mix at or 403.507.7746.

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Cultivating Informed Decisions

Growing our partnership with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) On April 25, FCC announced a $200,000 commitment to Olds College and its focus on cultivating informed decisions through the advancement of ag technology learning and applied research at the Olds College Smart Farm. The four-year financial commitment enables Olds College to create the AgExpert Data Lab, located on campus inside the Smart Ag Innovation Centre.

Photo Caption: Patrick Machacek, Vice President Development and Strategy, Fred Wall, Vice President, Marketing, Farm Credit Canada, Stuart Cullum, President, Martina Holtkamp, Student and Mark Fournier, Instructor.

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The lab is a technologically advanced workspace, available for students, instructors, industry partners and the Smart Farm Integration Team to meet, collaborate and learn. “Thanks to this investment from FCC, we continue to develop our Olds College Smart Farm,” says Olds College President, Stuart Cullum. “The AgExpert Data Lab brings together data from our agriculture operation, allowing us to analyse and demonstrate innovative technology and practices for entrepreneurs, companies and producers and for student learning.”

“The Smart Ag Innovation Centre will be the hub for digital ag in Canada and FCC is thrilled to be a partner through the AgExpert Data Lab,” said Fred Wall, FCC’s vice-president of marketing. “The lab will teach the next generation of farmers how to collect and properly manage farm data. That knowledge helps producers make informed decisions, driving both individual and industry success.”

In addition to the creation of the AgExpert Data Lab, the donation will help fund the Olds College Smart Farm. The Smart Farm uses cutting edge technology to provide a hands-on learning environment for students of the College and an opportunity for industry to develop, integrate and test new agriculture technology and practices. The donation also provides students access to the AgExpert platform which includes AgExpert Accounting and AgExpert Field.

“Canada’s vision of being a leader in agriculture and a top food exporter is supported by partnerships like the one between Olds College and FCC,” said MarieClaude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food. “As agriculture adapts to the needs of Canadians and the global community, smart farms and the data lab can have a tremendous benefit for everyone who depends on this sector.” Current Olds College student Martina Holtkamp is excited about the investment. “As a student in the Bachelor of Applied Science - Agribusiness Degree, I am very excited be able to see how technology is evolving the agriculture industry. Having access to the AgExpert Data Lab on campus will be an amazing opportunity for students. It’s a very exciting time to be studying agriculture here at Olds College.”

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3.4.2 Framework Trademark

Blue: Pantone 7706C Integrating Technologies Green: Pantone 7489C Red: Pantone 7417C

Olds College Earns Beef Sustainability Stamp of Approval

3.4.3 Certification Mark

Like most Canadian food producers, Olds College takes pride in the products we provide. Whether it is the cattle or sheep raised on our farm, produce from our gardens and greenhouses, steaks in our Meat Store, or a limited edition, student created craft beer in the Brewery, everyone involved in food production Blue: 7706C at OldsPantone College gives care to ensure that we are providing the best products to Green: Pantone 7489C our customers.

Red: Pantone 7417C In today’s marketplace, consumers and retailers are more concerned than ever with knowingMark where their food 3.4.4 Mass Balance Certification comes from and that it is raised ethically and safely. With this in mind, the Olds College Smart Blue: 7706C Farm Pantone recently went through the Green: 7489C processPantone to become certified as Red: Pantone 7417C Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+), through the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

For over a decade, the VBP+ program has enabled certified beef cattle operations to prove to consumers that their operation adheres to the highest standards for food safety, animal care and environmental stewardship. The CRSB Certified Sustainable Beef Framework is centered around two standards, each standard outlining several specific criteria (indicators) that producers are evaluated across five Principles of Sustainability. The principles include:

Natural Resources: the beef value chain

CRSB Communications, Claims and Labelling Guide v1.0 responsibly manages natural resources and enhances ecosystem health;

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People and the Community: stakeholders protect and respect human rights, and recognize the critical roles that all participants within the beef value chain play in their community regarding culture, heritage, employment, land rights and health;

Animal Health and Welfare: producers and processors respect and manage animals to ensure a high standard of health and welfare;

Food: stakeholders ensure the safety and quality of beef products and utilize information-sharing systems that promote beef sustainability; and

Efficiency and Innovation: stakeholders encourage innovation, optimize production, reduce waste and add to economic viability.

With this certification, Olds College can now participate in beef supply chains interested in sourcing beef from Certified Sustainable Operations. This supports companies like McDonald’s to enable sustainable beef sourcing, and use of a CRSB Certified logo to show consumers their commitment to sustainable practices. The College’s feedlot operation has capacity for up to 500 head of cattle and maintains a cow-calf breeding herd of 150 head, which supports the College’s National Meat Training Centre and on-campus retail meat store. In addition, the College’s Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production provides vital research and development services to the Canadian beef industry and is an active participant of the CRSB’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

For more information on the Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production, visit 


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Olds College Wetlands Research

Tackling Contamination Using Native Plants Water contamination issues are a worldwide problem, a result from growing populations and escalated human activity. In the search to mitigate human influence over our water, Olds College, in partnership with High Plains Industrial Park in Balzac and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, have undertaken a multi-year research project directed at discovering how the use of native wetland plants and the Alberta cold climate floating island systems can be used in the remediation of contaminated water and water with excess nutrients. Specifically, the research is directed at determining which plants, and how many of each plant, are needed to remove specific contaminants from a body of water.

“This research is crucial, because it is so far reaching,” explains Ruth Elvestad, Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) Water Research Technician. “Our research will benefit a variety of industries and companies including agriculture, oil and gas, recreation, real estate values, and towns and municipalities,” says Elvestad. Nutrient loading from fertilizers and manures in agriculture; waste from towns, cities, municipalities and recreation areas; metals from mines and industrial facilities, all contribute to the contamination of irrigation, drinking water and the destruction of aquatic systems. Current methods of restoring water quality are expensive and time consuming, and finding a more efficient and costeffective method to improve water quality for environmental health and for a sustainable economy is critical.

“This type of information has never been quantified before. We know that wetlands can help remediate contaminated bodies of water, but nobody has ever done the research to discover which specific plants work best in each scenario. If you don’t use the right plants, this process will not work, as different plants remove different contaminants and nutrients from the water,” explains Elevestad.

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By utilizing passive water treatment through natural processes, we can provide a low-cost method of implementing widespread water cleaning capabilities. In the next two years, this research will include twenty-five to fifty native wetland plants and will help us determine which plant species, and how many of each species, are needed to clean certain contaminants out of bodies of water of different sizes and depths. The OCCI’s research includes growing specific native wetland plants on the Alberta cold climate floating islands, and monitoring, recording and testing what contaminants each specific plant can remove. This data is then used for calculating how many plants might be needed to repair a given body of water. Plants on the floating islands can cover the entire surface of the water, or as much of the surface as required to fix the problem in a timely, effective and cost-efficient manner. Acting like a sponge, the plants remove contaminants and excessive nutrients from the water. The plant vegetation can be harvested from the floating islands, and they will grow again and continue to clean the water, so there is very little need to keep replacing the plants with new ones. “By using the Alberta cold climate floating island technology, we can put the plants right in the water as well as planting along shorelines,” explains Elvestad. “Shoreline planting is not always available, and plants on the floating islands deployed into the bodies of water add to the capability of those naturally established native wetland plants at the site to clean the water, which in turn speeds up the water remediation process. The more plants exposed to the water the quicker the water is cleaned.”

The end result, is to be able to recycle water for the use of irrigation and drinking water for livestock. Water that undergoes this process could also be safe for human consumption, however additional processes will need to be developed to remove discolouration and tastes that consumers are not accustomed to. “That could be a future project,” comments Elvestad. “One of the most interesting aspects of research like this is that as we look for the solution to one problem, a number of other questions and scenarios arise that could lead to another project resulting in another sustainable solution to benefit humanity and protect our environment. We are always looking for and welcome any input and partnerships from Alberta and Canadian citizens to recommend, participate, and benefit from our timely research projects.” This project is currently in its second year of research. In the first phase of the project, they focused on how to quantify selenium uptake, as selenium contamination can lead to issues such as fish and bird death and reproduction issues in some species of wildlife. Selenium poisoning can be passed down from parent to offspring, meaning that the poisoning may persist for many generations. Selenium can also bioaccumulate through the food chain as predators feed upon selenium rich prey.

For more information on research initiatives at Olds College, visit

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National Meat Training Centre

Retail Meat Store

Stop by the Olds College Retail Meat Store to experience one of the largest selections of fresh meat cuts in central Alberta. We carry a wide variety of cuts of beef, pork, chicken and lamb, and value added products like beef jerky and pepperoni sticks. Prepared meals such as pulled pork, marinated roast beef and meat pies, along with a wide selection of sausage and sandwich meats, all created by our expert staff and students of the Meat Processing certificate program.


Monday to Friday: 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stat Holidays: Closed For more information, vist

Teaching Brewery

Olds College Brewery The brewing industry in Alberta is still booming and the Olds College Brewery is proud to be a part of this growing and vibrant industry. With four ‘core’ brands, a wide selection of seasonal brews and limited edition student creations, the Brewery Retail Store is sure to have something to meet your tastes. Hay City

Old Skhool

Our core American Wheat Ale is a delicious sessionable beer that is crafted from Canadian wheat and barley. This refreshing ale is crisp and clean, with a mild malt sweetness.

Full of rich, nutty and roasty flavours, this American style brown ale has just the right balance of hop character to pique the interest and balance the malt complexity. Pairs perfectly with cold winter days while remaining light enough to spend some time on the summer patio.

Aggie Ale Dank and citrusy hops are backed by a toasty caramel malt body with hints of bready overtones. Aggie Ale is generously hopped with a blend of Pacific Northwest style hops throughout the brewing process to let you know what the students are all about. This brew pairs perfectly with a completed midterm, or end of a long week. 30 Olds College Horizons

Prairie Gold This Pacific Northwest-styled IPA combines a full, malty backbone to balance an aggressive hopping schedule. Caramel and light bready flavours from the malts intermingle with the powerful citrus, resin and tropical fruit character of the hops. An intensely hoppy beer elegantly balanced for quaffability.

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 12 to 6 p.m. Stat Holidays: Closed For more information, vist

Upcoming Events Fibre Week

Alumni Reunion


Meat Processing 50th Reunion

Hort Week

Olds College Golf Classic

July 5 - 11

July 13

July 20

August 13 & 14

July 22 – 25

August 28

All Olds College Alumni are invited to join us for a weekend of celebration and networking at the 2019 Olds College Alumni Reunion, July 20-21! This is your opportunity to relive your years at Olds College, reestablish lost connections, and meet fellow Alumni.

This year, we are recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Class of 1969. Visit for more information and to register soon!

Stay Connected Experience more: Spring 2019 31

August 13 & 14, 2019 Olds College


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4500 - 50 Street Olds, Alberta, Canada T4H 1R6

32 Olds College Horizons

Profile for Olds College

Horizons Spring 2019  

Horizons is published by Olds College Corporate Communications & Marketing. The magazine is mailed to alumni and friends of Olds College....

Horizons Spring 2019  

Horizons is published by Olds College Corporate Communications & Marketing. The magazine is mailed to alumni and friends of Olds College....