Edmonton, AB – A new research station is being developed in Alberta, the result of a generous land sale of 777 acres of land to the University of Alberta. The landowners, the Bocock family, recently sold the land to the university at a fraction of its appraised value.
The land, to be known as the St Albert Research Station, secures the future of agricultural and environmental research in Alberta for years to come. At the same time, the university announced the creation of a chair in agriculture and the environment in appreciation of the transaction.
“This marks the beginning of a new century of discovery in agricultural and environmental research at the University of Alberta,” said Indira Samarasekera, president of the university.
The research station will host a variety of crop research projects and provide the university with the added ability to grow and expand. Two research crops have been planted this year and more will be planted as activities wind down and are completed by 2011 at the Ellerslie Research Station. It is also expected that some of the animal facilities-currently located at the Edmonton Research Station-will be moved to the St. Albert Research Station, although any move will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will involve consultations with the community.
In recognition of the historic gift, the university says it is establishing the Bocock Chair in Agriculture and Environment. The chair will study the interactions between agriculture and the environment using interdisciplinary approaches to seek a balance between sustainable food and bio-products production, economic viability and environmental health.