Support continues to grow for the Prairie Innovation Centre project at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon with yet another significant donation to the project being announced on Thursday afternoon.

Assiniboine’s Prairie Innovation Centre for Sustainable Agriculture received a $500,000 donation from local community and business leaders, Gord and Diane Peters and the Brandon Area Community Foundation (BACF).

The Peters’ are no strangers to Westman and are well-known for supporting various community projects. In 2009, they set up a partnership with the Brandon Area Community Foundation to facilitate long-term giving.

Gord is a co-founder of Cando Rail & Terminals, headquartered in Brandon.

“Many of the staff we hired at Cando are Assiniboine alumni so we fully understand the value of the college to employers and the community as a whole. In fact, Diane is a proud alumnus, having taken nursing there,” he said.

“Gord and I have long believed in giving back to the community and this project will not only be good for Brandon, but all of Westman. It will serve the ag industry well but also provide a great number of training opportunities for the area’s youth,” said Diane.

ACC President Mark Frison says fund raising for the $15 million project is now over $10 million and climbing. “We are doing great and hope to get federal or provincial support.”

The Centre is Assiniboine’s vision for the future of agriculture in Manitoba, and will address industry and economic needs in this important sector.

In Manitoba, it’s projected that one in five jobs in agriculture will go unfilled by 2029. The Prairie Innovation Centre is Assiniboine’s made-in-Manitoba solution and aims to expand seats in agriculture-related programming from 300 to more than 800.

“Here in Manitoba, we live in the Canadian food bank, and it is initiatives like the Prairie Innovation Centre that will ensure the sustainability of the agricultural industry and a bright future for the next generation of producers and agricultural business,” said Dan Robertson, Chair of the BACF.

“A strong agricultural industry in Manitoba means strong communities, and the Brandon Area Community Foundation is focused on helping to create strong communities. We are pleased to join with great business and agricultural leaders to make a significant financial contribution to the Prairie Innovation Centre for the benefit of future students, the agricultural industry and the communities of Manitoba.”

“We like to give back and you can’t take your money with you so it’s nice to support community projects like the Innovation Centre” said Gord Peters.