EMILI’s Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert has joined the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network. The network currently has six members across three different provinces in Canada working collaboratively towards advancing ag tech solutions and sustainability across Canada.
The Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network — led by Olds College — is a network of Smart Farms supporting Canada’s agriculture sector to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and resilience in response to emerging opportunities and challenges. The network fosters collaboration among researchers, producers, industry partners, and other stakeholders nationwide to drive innovative projects that address critical issues in ag tech development and adoption. The network facilitates knowledge exchange and capacity building, and serves as a platform for real-world testing and validation of new technologies.
“We’re so happy to announce the third expansion site of the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network and welcome EMILI into our collaborative working environment,” says Dr. Joy Agnew, Vice-President of Research at Olds College. “The network gives all members the opportunity for open communication and co-operation to leverage the full potential of digital technologies to drive innovation and growth in Canada’s diverse agriculture industry.”
“Together, we’re able to better access and apply innovative technologies and best practices that enhance productivity, reduce costs, and increase profitability by sharing our knowledge and lessons learned,” says Agnew.
Agnew explains that with continued expansion and collaboration across different agricultural zones and land bases across Canada brings more depth to the projects and technology evaluations conducted at Canada’s smart farms, which benefits farmers and developers.
The Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network launched in 2021. In addition to EMILI it includes Glacier Discovery Farm Langham located just north of Saskatoon, Sask., Lakeland College located at Vermilion, Alta., University of Saskatchewan (USask) Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) located near Saskatoon, Sask., and Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. (MBFI) located in southern Manitoba.
EMILI’s Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert is a 5,500 acre full-scale, commercial farming operation that helps expand the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network into Manitoba as it pertains to dry land crop production, and is an additional voice to share research findings with the industry across the Prairies. The farm is a fully sensored seed farm that provides innovators across industry and academia access to leading-edge equipment, technology, and production practices in order to develop viable solutions to the diverse agronomic and technological constraints and opportunities farmers face.
Joining the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network brings the opportunity for EMILI to be part of a community with a shared purpose and values around advancing Canadian agriculture, as well as sharing best practices and findings across diverse agricultural regions in Canada.
“We know that technological advancement leads to new and expanded businesses, new well-paying jobs, and the preservation of existing jobs. Collaborating with the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network is a great opportunity for EMILI to support the advancement of digital agriculture and increase the reach of the work we are doing on Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert,” says Jacqueline Keena, EMILI Managing Director.
Linking smart farms across the country multiplies the learnings and increases the value of data generated to connect farmers with industry and research partners to find practical solutions to ag challenges.
“At Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert, we are focused on demonstrating the productivity and sustainability of commercialized technologies, testing and validating new technologies to bring them from pre-commercial to market, and sharing our findings to increase understanding of and access to digital agriculture tools,” says Danielle Bérard, Innovation Farms Manager, EMILI.
“Being part of the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network allows us to tap into broader social and scientific connections and experts. Together, this collaborative environment will help us and grow our shared knowledge and develop new skills,” she said.
With funding from the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN), the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network initiative will accelerate the development and adoption of ag technologies and systems, helping producers manage their risk of production to improve the productivity and sustainability of their farms.
About Olds College of Agriculture & Technology
Olds College of Agriculture & Technology is known for high-tech, hands-on agriculture education and innovative applied research that lays the foundation for solving real-world problems in farming, food and land. The College offers programming in Agriculture, Horticulture, Land and Environment Management, Animal Science, Food Production, Business, Trades and Apprenticeships. Olds College Centre of Innovation and Smart Farm are accelerating the development and adoption of technologies and practices that result in improved productivity, profitability and sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food industry through industry-driven applied research. Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has been recognized as one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges by Research Infosource. As Canada’s smart agriculture college, Olds College of Agriculture & Technology is working to achieve its social purpose of transforming agriculture for a better world.
About Enterprise Machine Intelligence & Learning Initiative (EMILI)
EMILI is an industry-led non-profit committed to growing a sustainable and economically resilient digital agriculture industry. EMILI leads and supports projects that empower people with digital skills, support start-ups to grow in the prairies, increase the integration and full adoption of intelligent technologies, and accelerate Canada’s growth as a leader in digital agriculture.This work is guided by four strategic priorities: innovation and research; capital enablement; skills, training, and talent development; and intelligent technology integration. Based in Manitoba with projects that span the country, EMILI works with producers, industry, and academia to provide people with the connections, skills, training, and resources they need to succeed. EMILI’s Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert is one of the key ways that EMILI provides innovators across industry and academia access to leading-edge equipment, technology, and production practices in order to develop viable solutions to the diverse agronomic and technological constraints and opportunities farmers