Assiniboine Community College (ACC) has launched an appl ied research program in horticultural production. The project is funded through the Canada- Manitoba Growing Forward Strategic Innovation Fund Advancing Agri-Innovation Program.
The funding of $318,000 over three years will be used to establish a Manitoba-based applied research program that will focus primarily on fruit and vegetables.
“Assiniboine Community College has been a leader in Manitoba in agricultural training and the funding we’ve received for this project adds value to all of our agricultural-related programs,” said Jack Moes, associate vice-president of applied research and innovation at ACC. “The initial part of the applied research project will be to establish a fruit crop demonstration/ teaching orchard for applied research trials.”
The research program also supports the expansion of agricultural training at the college. For the first time this September the School of Business, Agriculture and Environment will offer a one-year certificate program in horticultural production.
This new program will focus on greenhouse production of fruits and vegetables. Part of the research funding will be used to re-establish the orchard that was previously part of the Brandon Mental Health Centre operations, which will involve the instructors and students of the new program. Horticultural production will be hands on, and linked with the Culinary Arts program to create a model of learning that reflects a current industry trend of “field to fork.” The program will operate at ACC’s 1st Street North Campus.
“Our continued financial support has helped ACC provide educational and economic benefits for Manitobans as we further develop resources and expertise in the fruit and vegetable crops best suited to our unique climate, soil and market demands,” said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers. “These crops are also important links in the produce and food-processing value chain that supports our farm families and their communities.”
“By investing in innovation, the Government of Canada is driving advancement in the agriculture sector forward,” said MP Merv Tweed, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This investment will help staff the growing need for trained personnel in the field of horticulture and will help create new opportunities in the industry.”