The Alberta government is increasing research capacity by supporting the transition of the Alberta Irrigation Technology Centre and the Brooks Greenhouse to Lethbridge College.

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshan made the announcement during a stop at the College Thursday (Oct. 15).

This $2 million agreement will see Lethbridge College manage 200 acres and 3 pivots at the irrigation tech centre.

Dreeshan says the college will also hire five staff to manage these two facilities. “Lethbridge College already does a tremendous amount of work already when it comes to irrigation research and agricultural research in general. So this was a natural partnership. With the kind of innovation resulting from this research, Alberta will continue to attract food processing investment that will help lead our economic recovery.”

Lethbridge College will operate the facilities as workspace for agriculture researchers from across the industry – post-secondary institutions, private industry and more.

The UCP government says under this new model, agricultural research in Alberta will lead to tangible benefits for farmers, including higher profits, a more abundant food supply at lower cost for consumers and ultimately a higher quality of life in rural communities.

“We thank the Government of Alberta for its commitment to applied agriculture research in southern Alberta and its confidence in Lethbridge College’s ability to lead these operations,” stated College President Dr. Paula Burns. “This agreement will allow our Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship to build on its strengths and expand its work and relationships with the local agriculture industry to create new and innovative solutions that drive the industry forward and contribute to Alberta’s economic growth.”