The Push for a New Agriculture College in Eastern Ontario

Kemptville College’s agriculture programming hasn’t been gone all that long, but already agriculture, farm, and equine businesses within the Ottawa Valley and surrounding areas are feeling the absence.

Mark Nelson, with the Ontario Equestrian Federation, says that within the equine community alone they’ve already noticed a lack of candidates to fill trainee and employee roles, as educational programs are sorely lacking.

Keith Bean, with the Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce, is hearing similar concerns from the farming industry, especially when it relates to young graduates’ understanding the business and financial aspects of running a farm business.

This lack of educational options has the pair working together to promote the concept of bringing some form of agriculture curriculum back to the Ottawa Valley, housed within an existing school and offered online.

With an ideal soft launch aimed for the fall of 2020, Bean and Nelson have plenty of work to do, but are planning on a two-plus-one-year concept — where the third year would resemble a practicum or intern-type program and would be available as a certificate program for those interested in professional development, as well.

Listen below for more. If you’d like more information, let us know and we’ll connect you to either Bean or Nelson.

 

Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.

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2 Comments

katrina merkies

I am wondering why Mark Nelson does not know about all of the equine education options offered by the University of Guelph. While the loss of Kemptville Campus was a sad day, it was not the demise of equine programming. The University of Guelph offers a 1-year horse handling certificate, a 4-year honours degree in equine management, and this fall will see the reincarnation of the 2-year equine diploma program. Additionally Equine Guelph offers numerous online courses in equine management, behaviour, genetics, etc. Equine education options are alive and well in Ontario, and continue to provide qualified graduates to enter the equine industry.

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Lyndsey Smith

I can’t answer for Mark, but Ontario is a huge province. Not everyone can afford the time or money involved in a 5.5 hour drive to go school. Only having one option for all of Ontario isn’t necessarily serving the province. If there’s a business case to be made for a second school in the east, why not?

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