By Bobinec, Greg on February 13, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge Dhillon School of Business will honour the Perry family and the Perry Family Farm at its 33rd annual scholarship dinner, April 9 at 6 p.m. at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre.
Every year an outstanding member or members of the southern Alberta community are selected as honorees by the Dhillon School of Business and its advisory board for their leadership, achievements and commitment to the communities they serve.
The Perry family, fourth-generation farmers near Chin, have owned and operated the award-winning 5,280-acre Perry Family Farm since 1909. They primarily grow potatoes and are a major supplier for brands such as Frito-Lay, McCain Foods Canada and Bonduelle. They were also recently named McCain’s Top Potato Grower and have been a top-10 finalist for this consideration for the last nine years. In 2008, they were named Frito-Lay’s Canadian Supplier of the Year.
“Our core values are people, quality, stewardship and professionalism,” says Chris Perry, president of CKP Farms Ltd. and Growing the Energy Circle Ltd. “In 2012, our farm created Vision 2020 to reduce major crop inputs by 20 per cent while increasing net yields 20 per cent by the year 2020. Our team-based farming practices encourage natural biological systems with goals of producing healthy soils for healthier crops for a healthier population.”
The Perrys are leaders in data-driven and sustainable agriculture. They were McCain’s National Environmental Award winner in 2011. In 2013, they designed and constructed the GrowTEC Biogas Plant, which produces over 4,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year from manure and organic waste, which is enough energy to power 1,000 homes. They have also spoken at the Paris Accord and Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue about their sustainable agriculture practices.
The shared Data Driven Agriculture initiative was part of their journey to achieving Vision 2020 and included variable-rate applications of water and fertilizer based on real-time data. Grow Energy Circle (GrowTEC) is the farm’s energy facility that creates three times more electricity from organic waste than what the entire farm uses, demonstrating on-farm sustainable energy stewardship. Dhillon School of Business dean Kerry Godfrey says honouring the Perry family is true to the school’s core values.
“We’re a school that encourages our students to collect and analyze data to make informed business decisions while also ensuring long-term sustainability,” says Godfrey. “The Perry family’s commitment to these practices in agriculture has created a business where success is not only measured by today’s performance, but how sustainable the business is for future generations.”
Over the past 32 years of the annual scholarship dinner, almost $2 million has been raised in support of student scholarships. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards creating an annual scholarship in the name of the Perry family. Individual tickets are priced at $125 each, or $1,000 for a table of eight, and are available at go.uleth.ca/ScholarshipDinner2020. To inquire about other sponsorship opportunities or to donate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Each ticket also includes a $60 charitable tax receipt.
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