Olds College's new diploma aligns with industry needs


In April, Olds College unveiled a new precision agriculture diploma, a program the dean of program development in agriculture technology says aligns with industry needs, and offers the opportunity for students to think in different ways.

Olds College’s James Benkie was on hand at AgSmart in August, where he shared some of the details of the new diploma.

“The programs that we’re developing is open for application October 1st of this year,” Benkie says in the video interview below. According to Benkie, the additions enhance the college’s portfolio, and keep it aligned with the industry.

“We’ve got a two-year diploma in precision agriculture, and we’ve also been approved for a post-diploma certificate in agriculture technology integration.”

The diploma offers hands-on components through the use of the college’s Smart Farm, giving students the opportunity to make mistakes, and be involved in different conversations.

Related: $1.2M in land donated to Olds College Smart Farm

“Could we run the program without it? Sure, but would the students be able to get the experience they need to be more productive when they enter the workforce? I don’t think it’s possible.”

Going forward, Benkie says we’ll see continued evolution of programs, driven by demand from industry, with the potential for the integration of digital agriculture, and virtual and mixed reality in the future.

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