OAC dean Rene Van Acker

Rene Van Acker, dean of U of G’s Ontario Agricultural College, spoke to the Canadian Press for an article about how universities are preparing students for the jobs of the future – including jobs that don’t yet exist.

The story appeared in several publications, including CTVNews.ca and The Globe and Mail.

Van Acker said OAC students learn about the many benefits of “precision agriculture,” a farming management concept that integrates artificial intelligence and multiple data sources to increase farm yields while preserving resources.

He said because precision agriculture can help reduce the environmental impact of farming, it combines two major trends in education: AI technology and environmental protection.

As noted in a recent U of G Office of Research report, precision agriculture is shaping the future of Canadian agriculture, and U of G researchers are at the forefront of the field.

Van Acker is a U of G grad and a leading expert on weed management and biosafety. He chaired the Department of Plant Agriculture from 2006 to 2009 and became OAC dean in 2016.