KEESEEKOOSE FIRST NATION — A partnership between Parkland College and Keeseekoose First Nation focused on modern farming techniques received a boost from the federal government.
The college received $440,000 for applied research programs through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program. The goal is to showcase modern farming techniques and provide research and training in all aspects of agriculture, with an emphasis on digital agriculture for people in eastern Saskatchewan.
"We are very excited to receive this recognition for the applied research program at Parkland College," said Gwen Machnee, Parkland College's applied research co-ordinator, in a media release. "This funding will help establish our partnership with Keeseekoose First Nation for the development of the Smart Farm and bring great opportunities for our students and business partners."
The partnership between Keeseekoose and the college began in the summer of 2021, when Keeseekoose indicated its desire to begin farming some of its land and invited Parkland College to participate as its training and research partner.
The College will be engaging students in paid positions to work with researchers and businesses, giving the students valuable work experience before graduation.
"This grant is a great opportunity for Keeseekoose First Nation and for our partnership with Parkland College," said Chief Lee Kitchemonia of Keeseekoose First Nation. "We are very happy to be able to develop agricultural technologies and train our people to work in this vital industry."