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Productivity & Environmental Sustainability in Pastures - with Olds College

Over the years, we have had dozens of ranchers and cattle producers use our function-focused bacteria for increased forage growth and water health. Some of our more dramatic trial results have been on pasture land.


Now, thanks to funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), we get the chance to measure this success with an incredible team of researchers from Olds College.

Treated half of a pasture treated for 3 years in southern Alberta.

Untreated half of the same pasture.


As per Olds College:


The Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production (TACLP) at Olds College received $440,000 in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for enhancing climate change resiliency and environmental sustainability of the livestock industry through the use of innovative technology and rotational grazing practices.


Government of Canada makes additional investments in college applied research partnerships.


This funding was made available from NSERC through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program’s Applied Research and Technology Partnership (ARTP) grants. This ARTP grant is supporting numerous projects that will take place on the Olds College Smart Farm — specifically the 308 acres at Pitstra Farm west of Carstairs, AB — over the next two years.

With the ARTP funding, the TACLP at Olds College is using its applied research facilities and expertise to test products and technologies for improving environmental sustainability and climate change resiliency in Western Canada. The TACLP’s applied research activities will also support multiple small to medium-sized (SMEs) industry partners — Wyvern Inc., Carbon Asset Solutions Ltd., Union Forage and AdvancedAg Inc. — with plans to involve more partners.

“Thanks to this ARTP grant, Olds College Centre for Innovation will execute a series of industry-driven, college-led, applied research projects focused on developing, integrating, optimizing, validating, and demonstrating innovative agriculture technologies, processes, and practices that will build on the sustainability focus of our livestock production applied research,” comments Dr. Joy Agnew, Associate Vice President, Applied Research at Olds College. “Our goal is to provide research that will support small to medium enterprises, and help technology developers commercialize products that ranchers will use and gain value from.”

The TACLP’s applied research at Pitstra Farm will help validate the efficacy of Union Forage and AdvancedAg Inc.’s products in improving productivity and environmental sustainability in tame and native pastures in Western Canada. It will also help Wyvern Inc. and Carbon Asset Solutions Ltd. develop and validate remote carbon monitoring technologies with the potential to increase rancher access to carbon credit programs.


“The TACLP at Olds College is addressing the critically important issues of environmental sustainability and climate change resiliency,” says Sean Thompson, Manager of the Olds College TACLP. “We’ve been conducting great research on the Smart Farm with rotational grazing and regenerative agriculture practices in the last few years, and look forward to continuing the research in Pitstra with this ARTP grant and industry partners. The TACLP continues to support the development, optimization and validation of innovative on-farm technologies and practices in order to enhance producer viability, productivity and sustainability.”


One key outcome of applied research at Olds College is independent, unbiased information for technology innovators, agricultural producers, agronomists, and other industry stakeholders on the functionality and value of agriculture technologies, processes, and practices. The ARTP grants announced from NSERC — $46.9 million over two years for 74 grants — will foster applied research partnerships between Canadian colleges, polytechnics, and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help these businesses seize new opportunities and address real-world challenges.


“Science and innovation lead to a stronger and more resilient economy. As a government we will always be there to support small and medium-sized businesses as they adopt new technologies, and our college sector plays a crucial role in supporting these businesses,” says The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

“This additional support from the Government of Canada is a testament to the value of colleges, CEGEPs and polytechnics and how they contribute to Canadian innovation – from exceptional applied research expertise and training experience, to outstanding facilities and equipment,” says Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC. “On behalf of the tri-agencies, congratulations to the successful colleges who will benefit from this special investment that will help their students, local businesses and communities thrive.”


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