Olds College agriculture diplomas evolve in 2009
December 2, 2008 By Olds College
December 2, 2008, Olds, Alb. – Keeping in step with the increasingly
rapid evolution of the agricultural industry, the Olds College School
of Agriculture, Land and Environment is making sweeping, timely changes
to its diploma programs.
December 2, 2008, Olds, Alb. – Keeping in step with the increasingly rapid evolution of the agricultural industry, the Olds College School of Agriculture, Land and Environment is making sweeping, timely changes to its diploma programs.
Beginning in September 2009, Olds College will offer a new agricultural management diploma, blending the strengths of soon-to-be-retired diplomas in agricultural business, crop and agri-food technology, and agricultural production. Students within the agricultural management diploma program will be able to choose between majors in finance, marketing and production. A bioprocessing and distribution major will be added to the diploma program in 2010.
In 2005-2006, Olds College conducted a number of face-to-face interviews with agricultural employers and producers across Alberta to document industry expectations of agricultural graduates. The research revealed a requirement for multiple skills, and emphasized the need for greater understanding of:
- Thin financial margins at all levels of agriculture
- Evolving technology applications
- A more consumer-driven marketplace
- A requirement for agriculture to shift away from commodity marketing
- Globalization throughout the agricultural value chain
“What came out clearly is that modern agribusinesses need good generalists,” said Joel Gingrich, chair of the Olds College School of Agriculture and Land Management. “Agriculture is very much about integrating multiple elements, not just about a single discipline. It’s about making sure students have career flexibility when they graduate from the program.
“Somebody who is interested in going back to the farm can still do that,” said Gingrich. “We integrate animals, agronomy, business and technology so they can be successful. But now, more than ever, they also have the option of taking that education and carrying on into agribusiness – where there is a greater abundance and diversity of jobs than ever before.”
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