Growing 21st Century Farmers
Q&A with Fanshawe's Agri-Business Management Graduate, Mike Bakos
By Cameron Kok,
Current Student, Bachelor of Commerce,
In September 2016, Fanshawe College launched the Agri-Business Management Graduate Certificate program at its Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus. This September, the program will also be delivered in London at the Western Fair District. We connected with a student from the first graduating Simcoe class, Mike Bakos, to get his perspective on the unique new program.
Previous Post-Secondary Education: Honours Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Education, Brock University
Family Farm: J&B Bakos Farms (and in partnership with The Growers Sweet Harvest Watermelons)
Why did you decide to enroll Fanshawe’s Agri-Business Management program?
“I wanted to get more immersed in the farming community that we have in Norfolk County, and although I am a fourth-generation farmer and my family is fairly well known in the area, I wanted to get a deeper understanding of what is going on in my community, especially in the agricultural community, and what other opportunities are out there.”
What did you hope to get from the program?
“As someone devoted to life-long learning, I decided to attend the program with the hopes of being able to bring some 21st century thinking and practical knowledge to my family’s farming operation. I assessed what improvements I wanted to focus on, and attended the program part-time as I was supply teaching part-time as well.”
Now that you’re a graduate, what are your future career plans?
“My intention for enrolling was to take my Family Farm to the “next level”. It would seem that farmers now have to wear even more “hats” as their business grows and expands. We now think about things like developing a brand and promoting our business. My intention is to grow my family business and make it even more viable. Due to programs like this, I can now make even more educated decisions when mapping out the future of my family farm.”
Is there anything unexpected that you got out of the program that will help you now that you’re a graduate?
“The program was an excellent networking opportunity for me, and allowed me to meet a ton of community leaders both in and out of the farming/Agri-related sectors. Because of my interest in getting more involved, I ended up being introduced to the Norfolk Agricultural Advisory board. I now sit on the board and really get a sense of what is going on in Norfolk.”
Learn more the program at fanshawec.ca/AGM1J (Simcoe) and fanshawec.ca/AGM2 (London)