Saskatchewan Polytechnic will start its Agriculture and Food Production diploma in 2022
By Diego Flammini
A post-secondary school in Saskatchewan will offer a new ag program beginning next fall.
Beginning in the fall 2022 semester, 30 students can enroll in Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s new Agriculture and Food Production diploma program at the school’s Moose Jaw campus.
“Working closely with employers, Sask Polytech is building a curriculum to meet this sector’s continuously evolving educational and training needs,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO of Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
The three-year program is designed to provide students “with the foundational, technical, environmental and managerial skills to meet the needs of employers,” the program description says.
Through classes and three co-op work terms, students will develop skills in ag technology, equipment, farm management, land and cattle management and sustainability.
Having a trained ag workforce is important for Saskatchewan.
More than 7 per cent of the province’s workforce, or about 37,500 people are directly employed in the ag sector, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) says.
And, the CAHRC says, by 2029, retirements will reduce the workforce by more than 40 per cent and create an ag labour gap of more than 12,000 jobs.
This program will help ensure ag employers in the province aren’t struggling to find valuable employees.
“I think it’s very fair to say that agriculture is still one of the major economic drivers within the province, and having a skilled labour force is essential,” said Jamie Hilts, dean of the School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing, Discover Moose Jaw reported.
Farms.com has contacted Saskatchewan Polytechnic and members of the province’s ag community for comment.