Chilliwack affirmed its place at the fore of agriculture development with the official opening of UFV’s Agriculture Centre of Excellence on Friday.
The new centre is part of UFV's Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park. It includes a large demonstration barn and North America's tallest greenhouse at 11.5 metres. The greenhouse, the first in the world to be programmable to be pressurized or de-pressurized, also allows about 95 per cent of available light to be captured and used.
More than 300 people turned out for the opening, including Premier Christy Clark, who said the centre would secure jobs for the future, and generate a talented workforce that will help feed the world.
"The new Agriculture Centre of Excellence at UFV supports the BC Jobs Plan, BC Agrifoods Strategy, and our overall plan to grow our economy and create more opportunity,” said Clark.
Also there was Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. He said UFV's new agriculture centre will provide an base for agriculture
and agribusiness education in the Lower Mainland.
“Our investment will help to ensure students get the education and training they need to meet workforce demands in B.C.'s growing agricultural economy."
The agriculture training facilities will support students as they develop knowledge and gain technical skills, pursue applied research and project opportunities, and perform lab and field exercises in a controlled environment.
In collaboration with other facilities in Western Canada, UFV expects the centre will help to establish a network of applied research that leads to best practices in technology, with hands-on skill building opportunities in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors.
UFV president Mark Evered, noting the institution’s 40th anniversary, said the opening was an exciting moment in UFV’s long tradition of encouraging agriculture development.
“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."