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January 28, 2019: Stuart Cullum, President of Olds College

Clarence Buckley introduced our guest speaker. Stuart Cullum joined Olds College in November, 2016, and was appointed president and CEO July 1, 2017. Previous roles included Vice President Academic and COO at Lethbridge College, Vice President Agriculture at Northlands and Executive Director, novaNait – Nait’s Applied Research and Company Development division.

Stuart farmed commercially in the Three Hills area until 2009 and continues to participate in his family’s cattle business. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Alberta Turkey Producers, the Intensive Livestock Working Group, the Edmonton Food Council, the Pan-Prairie Academic Working Group and on expert panels on innovation with Colleges and Institutes Canada and Polytechnics Canada.

Stuart started his talk by reminding us all that Olds College will be the site of the 2019 District Conference, May 3 – 5, and everyone there is looking forward to seeing us there – especially the rodeo group.

The college has 2000 full-time students, evenly split male /female, and is getting a more diversified student body every year. In addition to the main campus in Olds, there is also one in Calgary. Olds College is provincially mandated to have an agricultural focus. The college has 2000 acres of land. The college was founded almost 100 years ago as a demonstration farm for immigrant farmers to assist them in learning best practices for farming here in Alberta. Over the last 100 years, farming has been challenged by the pace of change and escalation of technology. On the college’s demonstration farm they can test, vest and scale practices to assist farmers in adopting those practices that have proven positive results.

One of the challenges the world faces is how to feed over nine billion people sustainably. Agriculture is progressing to where over 70% of future jobs in the sector will require technical skills. Also the sector will face a labour shortage of 114,000 skilled workers by 2025. The college is focused on real-world learning with increased emphasis on communication skills.

Bill Quinney thanked our speaker today, and presented Stuart with Calgary West’s world-famous Boltman.

  • Bill Quinney and Stuart Cullum Bill Quinney and Stuart Cullum

reported by Don Vokey

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