SARDA Ag Research is ready to welcome visitors to its new home at its grand opening on July 26.
SARDA (Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association) is pleased to announce they have moved into their new home, located east of Donnelly Corner, Alberta. For years, the group has been calling a portion of the Municipal District of Smoky River building their home, along with a cold storage location across the street in Falher, Alberta.
SARDA Ag Research executive director Vance Yaremko says the team is excited to have all its resources in one location.
“We moved into the offices in April, and we are just starting to move into the shop,” says Yaremko.
“By the end of the month we should have everyone in (one) building, which will be a big advantage as we will be able to work on trials in the back room and then be able to host meetings and answer inquiries at the same time.”
SARDA welcomes residents and members to their grand opening and site tour on July 26 starting at 10 a.m. People can register to take part in the day, see their new building, and experience some of the work that SARDA is completing.
The day will begin with registration at 10 a.m., followed by a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. Buses will leave for the first trial plot at 10:45 a.m. Lunch will be provided for free to registered participants and a presentation will be made by SARDA. One more field will be toured after lunch, followed by an open mix and mingle at the new location.
Yaremko explains SARDA received the Western Grains Research Foundation grant to the tune of $750,000. The total cost of the project is approximately $2 million. Impressively, a local farmer donated 15 acres of land to help complete the build and the team also has access to the rest of the quarter if they want to rent it to complete trial plots.
Yaremko says moving locations will be a big help to the SARDA team, as everything will now be in one spot instead of split between two locations. They are also hoping the new location will help with visibility and help to entice other companies to do research again.
“One of the biggest reasons for the move was we wanted a piece of land to do long-term trial plots,” he says.
“The donation of the land helped move our vision.”
SARDA is hoping to build a second cold storage facility in the near future, but for now some of their larger equipment may have to be housed in other locations.
SARDA Ag Research was established in 1986 to address local agricultural issues. It is a non-profit organization directed by producers from the M.D. of Smoky River, Greenview, Big Lakes County, Northern Sunrise County, and the County of Grande Prairie.
SARDA’s objectives, among others, are to achieve sustainable agricultural production and profit for producers, to stimulate and conduct applied research and demonstration to provide a basis for recommendations and a transfer of information and technology between research institutions, industry, and local producers.
If you are interested in participating in the grand opening and site tour, please phone the SARDA office at (780) 837-2900 to pre-register, or visit their website at sarda.ca.\
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jul 19, 2023