Northern College and Algonquin College Sign Memorandum for Agriculture Business Program
HAILEYBURY, ON: Northern College is pleased to announce a new Memorandum of Understanding with Algonquin College which will see an Algonquin-developed two-year Agriculture Business program offered at Northern’s campuses.
The program, developed in 2018, comes as a response to Ontario’s Agricultural industry becoming an increasingly industrialized business venture, with farmers often being called upon to field, manage and coordinate millions of dollars in assets as they go about the business of feeding Canadians.
Working in consultation with local farmers from the Ottawa Valley, Algonquin College developed a two-year Agricultural Business program designed specifically to address the growing need for skilled labour. The two-year program combines in-class lectures on farming management fundamentals and co-op placements designed to connect students with the realities of farming.
“This is a perfect fit for northeastern Ontario,” stated Dr. Audrey J. Penner. “We know that the Clay Belt that runs from northwestern Quebec through the Temiskaming region north towards Kapuskasing is a massive burgeoning agricultural market. This program will provide a chance for northern farmers and their families to reinforce business techniques close to home and an opportunity for those who wish to enter the agriculture sector to attain the skills to help in developing this sector in the north.”
Over the past ten years, farmers have reported increasing difficulty in sourcing skilled staff and managers to help them manage these agricultural enterprises, with 67 per cent of the 123 employers polled reporting difficulties in finding employees as part of a survey conducted by the University of Guelph in 2017.
“We are excited about this collaboration that will provide Northern students access to Algonquin College’s programming expertise,” stated Claude Brulé, Algonquin College President and CEO. “Agriculture is an increasingly complex industry, and this collaboration will help us meet the growing demand to have students knowledgeable about farming practices and technology – and also in other domains such as business, marketing, fleet management, human resources, climate, finances, and new innovative technologies.”
As northeastern Ontario continues to see unprecedented growth in the agricultural sector, both Algonquin College and Northern saw the potential in continuing to offer the kind of programming that connects students directly with areas of industrial growth.
“The farming industry came to us because there was a need to fill an educational void, and we’ve built this program with their input at every step,” said Martin Savard, Algonquin College Program Co-ordinator. “Farming is a massive sector that forms an enormous part of our economy. We are teaching the skills that the industry wants and needs, based on its current demands and requirements.”
Students will be able to apply to this jointly offered two-year Agricultural Business program in time for the Fall 2022 semester.
Please find the link to the zoom recording below:
Kyle Gennings (he/him)
Communications & Government Relations Officer
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