Demonstration farm covers variety of research

An ice sculpture helped mark the grand opening of the Richardson Bennett Demonstration Farm.  |  Harrison Brooks photo

Richardson International’s new research facility focuses on standard farming practices as well as newer technology

RICHARDSON, Sask. — Research at Richardson International’s new demonstration farm will run the gamut from comparative trials to more experimental work, the company’s senior vice-president of corporate affairs said last week during the facility’s grand opening.

“Some of (the research) is about the existing conditions, standard farming practices and reviewing how certain products work against one another, so comparative trials,” Jean-Marc Ruest said June 10 at the 600-acre Richardson Bennett Demonstration Farm and Research Centre near Richardson.

“And some are more experimental in nature. For example, one of them is how we apply fertilizer at different rates and measuring what those results are.”

The farm will also focus on the digital aspect of agriculture.

“Well I think what we are really doing is applying cutting edge technology and seeing how it works,” Ruest said.

“If we believe it is beneficial, we demonstrate to our farm customers the benefits of that modern agriculture. So everything that we do here is very much on the cutting edge of modern agriculture.”

The farm may be focusing on technology, but the unofficial theme of the June 10 was family. Members of both the Bennett and Richardson families were in attendance and shared speeches detailing the importance of family in their respective lives.

“Family is important and you don’t run a farm for as long as we did without family,” Murray Bennett said about his time spent living and working on the land that is now home to Richardson’s research centre.

“We always worked with Richardson. We weren’t (Saskatchewan) Wheat Pool guys; we were Pioneer guys. We could have held on to this (land) and probably sold it for more for commercial use, but that’s not what we wanted. It’s about doing what’s important to us. And I think Dad would have been tickled pink to see this. He really would have been proud of it, and we were proud to work for it.”

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said the decision to sell the land to start the demonstration farm and research centre was not only an important moment for the Bennett family but also for the future of the province’s agriculture industry.

“I think it’s just incredible when I see a company like Richardson making an investment like this,” he said.

“We know how vital that is to agriculture here in the province of Saskatchewan. We as a government recognize it. We invest very heavily into agriculture research, and for us to see markets going the way that they are and the opportunity for us in agriculture here in the province of Saskatchewan, to me, the sky is the limit.”

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