Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
October 06, 2004
U of G helps break ground for new agriculture centre
U of G officials today joined with government and city leaders in breaking ground for a new agriculture and bioscience centre in the University’s Research Park.
The Ontario AgriCentre, a three-storey, 60,000-square-foot facility, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2005. It will be located opposite the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s head office and near Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Ontario regional headquarters.
The centre will eventually house more than 70 key agricultural organizations and related companies, including the Ontario Soybean Growers, the Ontario Corn Producers, the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board and the Agricultural Adaptation Council.
“This facility will bring together all of the different agricultural commodities and sectors in one place,” says U of G president Alastair Summerlee. “It will create a unique cluster that will advance research in agriculture and in the life sciences to the benefit of the University, the province and the entire country.”
Peter Hannam, one of the principal investors in the development, adds that the centre “will “create a ‘Main Street’ presence for agriculture that is highly visible and accessible and will be a permanent symbol of agriculture’s proud contribution to Canada.”
Today’s “sod-turning” ceremony was also attended by Ontario agriculture minister Steve Peters, Guelph mayor Kate Quarrie and Alan Wildeman, U of G’s vice-president (research).
The Ontario AgriCentre will be designed to help farm organizations be more effective and efficient through the sharing of facilities and resources. It will also be equipped with a modern media centre that will be used for events and live broadcasts.
The building will be owned and operated by Ontario AgriCentre Ltd., a joint venture formed by Hannam and J. Lammer Developments Ltd. John and Tom Lammer have been involved in property development for more than 25 years. Hannam, a U of G graduate, will serve as president of Ontario AgriCentre. He has been active in Ontario agriculture and agribusiness for more than 25 years. A former Ontario Federation of Agriculture president, he founded First Line Seeds Ltd. in 1982, retiring as its president in August. He and his son, Greg, also own and operate Woodrill Farms.