The degree is the first of its kind in Canada
This week, Lakeland College staff announced the new bachelor of agriculture technology degree starting fall 2021 at the Vermilion campus.
“It's designed for students who currently have a diploma, a degree, another degree from another institution, or other ag schools, as well as diploma students in agriculture. So, they would funnel into the degree, take two additional years of schooling, and exit with a degree in agriculture technology. It's the first of its kind in Canada,” said Josie Van Lent, the dean of agriculture technology and applied research at Lakeland College.
The development of this new program came from consultations with the industry as well as requests from students wanting to stay and learn more at the college, said Van Lent.
“This degree is really built in response to industry feedback. Then we progressed with developing the outline of the program in terms of what courses should be offered and the learning outcomes. Then we went back to industry and asked if these were the right outcomes, if they wanted to tweak them, or if they had any more feedback for us. It was a pretty robust process involving industry, which is so important to us,” she told Farms.com.
The ag industry is looking for graduates with a skill set that includes the ability to deal with the new technology that’s in ag right now and this new program provides that, said Van Lent.
This program “is a reflection of where the industry is going. We're seeing more and more technology being embedded in our equipment and the use of technology on farms. Whether it's artificial intelligence, sensors or data management programs, we're certainly seeing a great deal more technology on farms. So (there is a) need to have individuals that are trained to deal with that technology,” she said.
This new program will also have an advisory committee that guides it and helps fine tune it moving forward, said Van Lent.
Anyone interested in the program or interested in the advisory committee can contact Van Lent or Lakeland College.
Photo credit: Lakeland College photo