Algonquin College, based in Eastern Ontario, has announced two new agriculture-related programs set to begin in fall of 2019 at its Perth campus. The new program comes a few years after the University of Guelph’s Kemptville Campus shut down its agricultural programing.
Starting in September 2019, Algonquin’s Perth campus will offer a one-year certificate in business fundamentals and a two-year diploma in business of agriculture. The programs have been designed to take advantage of the rural settings and smaller communities of Perth and the surrounding areas, the college says.
Created with the help of the Kemptville College Alumni – an association of former students from Kemptville’s agricultural schools – the goal of the two-year diploma program is to “blend agricultural practices with business training so that students can learn to run a farm or otherwise work within the agricultural industry.”
The program will teach concepts and skills such as livestock and crop management, equipment purchasing practices, and government regulations, among others.
Acknowledging the high-stakes finance and sophistication of business skills necessary to run a successful farm, Chris Hahn, dean of the Perth campus, says the program is designed for farmers, those looking for agriculture industry positions, and will also be a huge help for those transitioning the farm business to the next generation.
“You’ve got a lot of farmers who will want to pass the farm onto their son or daughter,” says Hahn. “These folks are really interested in making sure that the younger generation is well positioned to take over the operation. Something like this diploma will assist in that. We’re not going to teach them how to drive a tractor, we’re going to teach them how to buy one.”