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October 20, 2016

Lakeland’s Livestock Research Facility Officially Opens

(Vermilion, Alta.) As a hub for innovation and applied research, Lakeland College’s Livestock Research Facility is officially open for student-led learning.

Featuring state-of-the-art technology for livestock research and development, the opening of the facility at the Vermilion campus on Oct. 20 is the culmination of significant support from Judy Sweet.

Wanting to make a donation in memory of her husband Garth Sweet, who raised purebred Simmental cattle for more than 25 years with their family, Judy reached out to Lakeland in 2014. Since then, Judy has supported the modernization and expansion of the Livestock Research Facility through donations from her family’s Sportaken Holdings and from The Garth Sweet Simmental Foundation.

“The research that’s being done at Lakeland with cattle is not only great for the industry but more importantly it’s benefiting students. They’re taking charge of incredible research opportunities and learning from the results. We’re proud to be part of this project and to help Lakeland students succeed in this industry,” says Judy.

Home to 50 head of cattle and the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland Livestock Research team, the Livestock Research Facility has increased Lakeland’s capacity to participate in applied research projects of importance to the livestock industry in Western Canada. Past projects that have been done in the livestock area include lamb milk replacer, Alberta agheifer feed efficiency, feeder lamb rotation, beef finishing rations and wet/dry barley feed trials.

“The opening of the Livestock Research Facility is an exciting milestone for Lakeland’s Student-Managed Farm. Thank you to Judy and her family for supporting student-managed experiences,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. “With this modern facility, our students have the space and tools necessary to lead current livestock research projects. They’ll gain valuable research experience as they work alongside faculty and industry leaders on innovative research projects.”

The conversion of the former bull test station into the Livestock Research Facility began in 2012 with the installation of GrowSafe technology for monitoring the individual feed intake of animals. The second phase, completed in 2013, was the addition of new cattle and sheep handling systems plus a scale system. The third phase of the modernization project, completed in 2015, was the expansion on the east side of the building to create a demonstration space. The 1,000 square foot area includes washrooms and a lab space.

Lakeland introduced its award-winning SMF concept in 1990. Today, the SMF features crop, dairy, sheep, commercial beef, purebred beef, stewardship and sustainability, crop research, and livestock research units.

Established in 1913, Lakeland College is a place of possibility that serves more than 7,500 students every year at its campuses in Vermilion, Alta., and Lloydminster, Alta./Sask., and through online and off-site programs and courses. Lakeland offers programming in the areas of agricultural sciences, business, energy, environmental sciences, fire and emergency services, health and wellness, human services, interior design technology, trades and technology, and university transfer. Lakeland is also a test bed for innovations in agriculture, energy, and environmental sciences. For more information visit

Katie Ryan
Communications Specialist
Lakeland College

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