Olds College Smart Farm enable students to use and incorporate prototype agricultural next generation technologies.
Olds College Smart Farm uses commercially available technology to monitor its agricultural operations. The Smart Farm comes equipped with digital weather stations, soil monitors, wireless grain bin sensors, even multi-spectral imaging precision agriculture tools, drones, management software, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, all linked over a Wi-Fi network. Launched in June 2018, Olds College Smart Farm, first phase of the multimillion-dollar project is a 110-acre smart cropping operation.
The aim of Olds College Smart Farm is to provide the students hands-on training experience with latest agricultural tech in farming operations. According to Jason Bradley, director of the Smart Ag program at Olds, “the Smart Farm is a place where students can get their hands on the future of farming.”
The Smart Farm is expected to include a livestock operation and exceed to more than 1000 acres upon completion. Next generation technologies are used by research students that will aim at increasing productivity and quality of the produce.
After training, students will be equipped with the functioning and knowledge of latest next generation agricultural technology as it launches in the market. “Disruption in the industry is occurring, and it’s only going to get quicker and quicker,” added Stuart Cullum, the president of college. “Our students need to not only know how to work with current technology, they also need to know what’s coming and how to adapt to that.”
Apart from the agricultural technology sector, other sectors ranging from mining to oil and gas have incorporated with the Smart Farm project. The new sectors are partnering in developing, testing, scaling, and demonstrating agricultural technology, which will provide capabilities, equipment, and expertise towards Smart Farm.