UFV opens Agriculture Centre of Excellence at Canada Education Park

UNIVERSITY_OF_THE_FRASER_VALLEY_PHOTOGRAPHYThe University of the Fraser Valley officially opened its Agriculture Centre of Excellence on April 4, 2014, the university’s 40th anniversary.

Premier Christy Clark and other dignitaries attended a special ceremony marking the opening (see provincial government news release here and photos of the ceremony here.)

UFV agriculture students will be learning in state-of-the-art facilities at the new agriculture centre (known as ACE), located at the Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park. (See photos of the centre and students preparing for the grand opening here.)

“We are grateful for the support of our government and the community and industry partners who helped us establish our centre in this multi-million dollar facility,” said UFV President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mark Evered. “Our regional and provincial economies will benefit from this investment in the training of graduates with the practical and creative leadership skills needed for the complex and technologically-rich world of agriculture and agribusiness.”

Funding for the Agriculture Centre of Excellence provided by the provincial Ministry of Advanced Education ($1 million), the University of the Fraser Valley ($750,000), the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation ($250,000), and donations from community partners ($387,469). UFV welcomes further investment from interested community partners.

Agriculture student Terisha Mitchell spoke at the opening ceremony about the impact of the new Agriculture Centre of Excellence. She said that she and her fellow students are “delightfully aware” of the possibilities that the new centre holds for students.

“It gives us the opportunity to be part of the mounting push for change within the world of agriculture,” said Mitchell. “The push to provide our Canadian farmers with the tools to thrive and compete in a global market, to innovate, create, and supply the food demands of our ever-growing global population, and most importantly the push to generate abundant agriculture while protecting our precious wildlife and natural resources. The enthusiasm from this group of students is infectious and for good reason: the beautiful new buildings the future of agriculture and our roles within it.”

Agriculture student Amir Maan also spoke at the opening.

“The hands-on components to studying at UFV have been a highlight for me, and are getting a huge boost today. We all will treasure the facilities for a long time to come and from an industry perspective, we look forward to have practically trained students for the many jobs in modern agriculture, as well as hope to harvest the benefits of research coming out of these facilities, in particular the berry, vegetable and greenhouse, nursery, and hazelnut industries,” he said. “UFV is on its way to be a leading institution where not only the agriculture department but every department in every facility collaborates to support the industry that feeds us all. Locally grown sustainable food is not a buzz word anymore, it is not a fad, but rather it is a necessity.”

Phase 1 of the Agriculture Centre of Excellence includes:

  •  A 783 m2 barn including livestock area, milking area, poultry area, and swine area
  •  A 600 m2 greenhouse featuring a multi-wall polycarbonate construction that provides a strong thermal rating and high energy efficiency. The greenhouse is the tallest in North America (12m or 3.5 storeys tall).; this is to retain the CO2 rather than venting the excess heat
  •  225 m2 polyethyline greenhouse.

The University of the Fraser Valley has offered agricultural education since it was founded in 1974.

Current agriculture program offerings include credentials in horticulture, livestock, integrated pest management, berry production, field vegetable production, and milker technician. Students can also earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in agriculture management.

For more information see: ufv.ca/agriculture.

 

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