Field day showcases local agriculture research

Parkland College and East Central Research Foundation (ECRF) welcomed about 80 farmers, agriculture professionals, and industry representatives to their seventh annual research farm field day Tuesday near Yorkton. The event highlights the agriculture applied research partnership between the College and ECRF, which officially began in 2013.

This summer there are numerous projects underway at the joint research farm 1 km south of Yorkton on York Lake Road. There is also a secondary site just southeast of the city. Researchers are conducting a variety of trials on numerous crops, including wheat, oats, barley, canola, and peas.

Parkland College and ECRF have a long-term plan to carry out agriculture research activities in the Yorkton area. The partnership enabled Parkland College to become the first regional college in Saskatchewan to undertake an applied research program to serve regional economic development. The College also uses the field research site to provide hands-on training and summer employment to students enrolled in agriculture programs.

The data collected on site throughout the growing season will be shared with the research community, agricultural industry, and local producers. More information on these and other projects is available at

About Parkland College:
Parkland College provides high quality, learner centred education and training as a foundation for lifelong success. The College offers a superior learning and campus experience for all students through quality programming and services. Students can get started on their careers by completing university classes, full degrees, and skills training and trades certificates. Parkland College also delivers high school upgrading, safety training, and corporate/professional development.

About East Central Research Foundation:
Established in 1996, the East Central Research Foundation (ECRF) is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to conduct crop production research and extension activities for the agricultural industry of east central Saskatchewan. It is directed by a board of local producers and advised by provincial specialists.


New CEO Mark Hoddenbagh introduced to Parkland media

Parkland College officially introduced President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Hoddenbagh to local media Friday in Yorkton.

Hoddenbagh was recently appointed President/CEO by the coalition of Parkland College and Cumberland College, effective July 1. He has a wide range of experience in numerous fields connected to post-secondary education, including strategic planning, applied research, indigenous strategy, and business development.

His first day on the job was July 2 at Parkland College’s Main Campus in Yorkton. He also visited the Trades & Technology Centre and the Melville and Esterhazy campuses. He then made his first visit to Cumberland College July 8-9 and met with staff in Melfort, Nipawin, and Tisdale. Hoddenbagh is eager to get to know the people around the colleges and partners in the communities they serve.

“I’m a big believer in colleges,” Hoddenbagh said. “I find that they’re led by incredible people who have great skills. These skills go beyond academic skills and knowledge to include the life, work, and people skills that I think are very important and used in the workplace every day.

“I’m very passionate about combining technical education with work skills training and having graduates who are job ready from day one.”

The Cumberland College-Parkland College coalition will be a pilot project for up to two years. The colleges continue to operate separately, but now share one region, a single CEO, and a governance structure in which the same individuals are simultaneously appointed to the boards of both colleges.

About Parkland College:
Parkland College provides high quality, learner centred education and training as a foundation for lifelong success. The college offers a superior learning and campus experience with locations in Yorkton, Melville, Fort Qu’Appelle, Esterhazy, Canora, and Kamsack.

About Cumberland College:
Since 1975, Cumberland College has been providing high quality training and education programs for adults in northeastern Saskatchewan. Campuses are located in Nipawin, Melfort, and Tisdale.