OLDS — Just over a year from now, Olds College students will have an opportunity to obtain a new agricultural degree.
Starting in the fall of 2023, Olds College will offer a four-year bachelor of digital agriculture degree through its Werklund School of Agriculture Technology.
The college made the announcement last week in a news release.
The new program will cover “global challenges in agriculture, recognizing the convergence of exponential technologies and diverse perspectives,” the release says.
“Students will engage in real-world problems and explore solutions using digital agriculture technologies and practices.
“Graduates will be prepared to lead disruptive change in agriculture with a grounding in multidisciplinary leadership, systems and entrepreneurial thinking, digital agriculture technologies and machinery management, agronomy, and data sciences to realize the social, economic, and environmental objectives of sustainability,” it adds.
Carlson Agricultural Enterprises Ltd. chief executive officer Jeff Carlson says there’s a need for a graduate with that expertise.
“As a producer, the speed at which technology is changing our current agriculture practices is daunting,” he said in the news release.
“Now, more than ever, the ag sector needs skilled graduates who are able to understand, harness and leverage the immense amount of data being generated throughout the agri-food value chain so that Canada’s ag sector can sustainably produce the highest quality food for a growing global population.”
“We are very excited to bring this new credential to Olds College,” Debbie Thompson, Olds College’s vice-president of academic and student experience said.
“Olds College continues to work alongside industry to create programs that will deliver graduates with relevant skills to lead and evolve the agriculture industry, so that we can continue to transform agriculture for a better world.”
Olds College currently offers two other ag tech programs, including the precision agriculture-techgronomy diploma and the agriculture technology integration post-diploma certificate, as well as an agricultural management diploma and a bachelor of applied science-agribusiness.
The college says its new ag tech programs were created “in response to a significant skills gap that was identified within the agriculture industry when it comes to supporting the industry in adopting new technology.”