Dalhousie and Nova Scotia Agricultural College Merger Op-ed
NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece by Agriculture Minister John MacDonell
Today, I was pleased to announce that the province is pursuing a new partnership for the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) that will move to position it as a national centre of excellence for applied research and innovation in agriculture.
NSAC has been at the centre of economic growth and academic quality for Truro and Bible Hill, and for the province for over 100 years. It has attracted some of the brightest minds in research and innovation for the agriculture and agri-food sector. It has turned out thousands of graduates that have become leaders in their fields and in their communities. And it has provided hundreds of good jobs for local families.
It is this success that has attracted a stronger partnership with Dalhousie University, a leading research-intensive Atlantic university with a world-class reputation.
A merger between these two institutions will ensure that NSAC can excel and compete against similar institutions across the country. And that is vital to maintaining and expanding jobs in Nova Scotia's agriculture and agri-food sector.
This will grow and expand the presence of NSAC in Truro and Bible Hill, keeping and creating good jobs and growing the economy in rural Nova Scotia.
Bringing Dalhousie to Truro and Bible Hill will be good for students. I expect the quality and variety of academic programs to grow, attracting even more students to this beautiful campus. A merger will strengthen existing academic programs and open up exciting opportunities for growth.
Affordable, post-secondary education is one of the most effective ways to help our young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to help build our communities and grow our economy.
I am pleased and excited about this new partnership, and the opportunities it will bring for both students and staff.
Another goal of this merger will be to ensure benefits for the Annapolis Valley and Cumberland County regions of the province.
As Agriculture Minister and a sheep producer, I know we need to think differently and act differently in order for our agriculture industry to find long-term success and growth. Resource industries, like farming, continue to be the foundation of Nova Scotia’s economic growth.
This stronger partnership positions NSAC to take advantage of our agricultural strengths to grow this institution into a national and international leader in applied research and innovation.
This is a great opportunity for both NSAC and Dalhousie, and will be a great advantage for the people of Truro and Bible Hill and for all Nova Scotians.