While Assiniboine Community College’s Prairie Innovation Centre for Sustainable Agriculture has already received many contributions, Mazergroup has provided the school with its biggest financial boost so far this year.
According to a Tuesday news release from ACC, the New Holland equipment dealer is earmarking $500,000 for the new facility, which aims to expand seats in agriculture-related programming from 300 to over 800.
Outside of being the current president and CEO of Mazergroup, Bob Mazer used to serve as the chair of the college’s Board of Governors and is the recipient of an honorary diploma.
As such, Mazergroup has a long history of supporting ACC’s various agricultural programming, providing entrance awards for students and loaning equipment for hands-on learning activities.
"Most Mazergroup employees have some link to Assiniboine, and that’s a big reason why we decided to contribute to the Prairie Innovation Centre project," Mazer stated in Tuesday’s news release. "Dozens of our staff have made better lives for themselves and their families because of the training and education they received at Assiniboine."
Plus, Mazer admitted that the development of the Prairie Innovation Centre also aligns with his company’s interests, since the facility is designed to help soften the blow of any agricultural labour shortage that might pop up in the near future.
"Our college has a critical role in ensuring there are people trained and ready to step into careers in the growing agriculture sector," ACC president Mark Frison stated in Tuesday’s release. "The Prairie Innovation Centre will answer the call, arming agriculture in Manitoba with a skilled labour force."
Tuesday’s release also made it clear that Mazer is an honorary co-chair of ACC’s Prairie Innovation Centre campaign.
Throughout 2021, the Prairie Innovation Centre has received financial contributions from various groups, including Wawanesa Insurance ($100,000), Mid-Plains Implements ($50,000), Guild/HMS Insurance Group ($10,000) and the Manitoba Canola Growers Association ($100,000).
In October of last year, Sunrise Credit Union also donated $1 million to kick-start the building of this centre, which marks the largest philanthropic donation in the college’s history.
School officials are planning to build the centre on the college’s North Hill campus. While no firm dates have been set, an ACC representative told the Sun on Tuesday that they are looking to start construction next year, with the hope of completing the centre in 2024.
For more information on this project, visit ACC’s official website at assiniboine.net/community/assiniboine-foundation/prairie-innovation-centre-sustainable-agriculture.
» The Brandon Sun