May 17, 2022

Episode #69: The Brief: Feeding the World—How Olds College’s Smart Farm Is Tackling the Global Food Challenge

Projections estimate that the world’s population will grow by 2 billion by mid-century, and according to the World Wildlife Foundation, “land, energy, water, and weather constraints will place unprecedented pressure on mankind’s ability to access its most basic goods—food, fuel, and fiber,” and we must produce more food in the next 40 years than we have the last 8,000 years—and do so in a more sustainable and secure way.

This is the grand challenge—and opportunity—that presents us.

As a “living lab”, the Olds College Smart Farm is just one of the incredible examples of ag innovation happening in the province. With over 3,600 acres of land for crops and forage production, the Smart Farm is at the forefront of creating real-world, commercial, and scalable solutions to improve food production at home and globally.

Joy Agnew, Associate Vice President of Applied Research for the Olds College Centre for Innovation joins the show to talk about the scale of the challenge of feeding more people on limited resources, how data and technology are shifting how we farm and produce food, the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration, and how the Smart Farm is contributing in a big way to supporting producers to be able to grow more food sustainably.

In this episode:

  • What the Smart Farm is
  • Global challenge of feeding a growing population
  • Evolving agricultural practices
  • Key obstacles to improve food production
  • Producing more food while reducing emissions
  • Current projects at the Smart Farm
  • Challenges to growth in ag sector
  • Supporting entrepreneurs and training next generation producers
  • Working with industry


About The Brief

In this series, co-hosts Scott Crockatt and Brittany Brander explore the big challenges we face as Albertans; celebrate stories of growth, innovation, and prosperity; and discover bold ideas to make life better for Albertans.

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