From Left: Ken McEwan, Director University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, Brad Chandler, CEO Hensall Co-op, Grant Craven, Vice-Chair, Ridgetown Campus Agri-Food Foundation. (Photo submitted by Hensall Co-op)

Hensall Co-Op invests $100,000 in agriculture education

Hensall Co-op is pledging $100,000 to University of Guelph Ridgetown for a proposed Ontario Sustainable Crop Research and Innovation Centre.

It’s a two-phase project and the pledge is in support of the second phase to construct several specialized research labs for Ridgetown’s 20 plus agricultural scientists as their current facilities have reached their life expectancy.

In a release, President and CEO of Hensall Co-op, Brad Chandler, says the sponsorship is an investment to support rural communities and education.

“We are committed to protecting our rural communities and direct most of our sponsorship investment to support rural communities and education in agriculture,” said Brad Chandler, President and CEO, Hensall Co-op. “The applied and practical research results from the Ridgetown Campus remain vitally important to our growers. We need to ensure these researchers have the facilities and equipment needed to educate our youth, continue to address industry issues and provide scientific results through knowledge transfer to our producers. This gift clearly supports our corporate values of innovation, empowerment, and working together. The Hensall Co-op Board of Directors, representing over 6,000 farmer-owners, believe this is an important investment in the future of the Ridgetown Campus and agriculture in Canada.”

Phase 1 of the project is in the final stages of architectural design and involves the construction of a $6.0 million Field Crop Services Building to provide a state-of-the-art workspace for 15-20 crop research technicians, vegetable and field crop processing space and seed storage.

“This phase of the project is an investment from the Province of Ontario through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO). Following construction of Phase 1, we look forward to seeing Phase 2 commence once provincial and/or federal funding is in place,” said Ken McEwan, Director, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. “Today’s commitment of financial support from Hensall Co-op is greatly appreciated. Our Ridgetown Campus Agri-Food Foundation has now raised over $3.8 million in municipal, agribusiness and private support for this capital priority.”