What to expect from a career in Agriculture
Practices and regulations in the agriculture and agri-food industries are changing constantly to adapt for an increasingly globalized market for food production and supply, as well as ongoing health and safety concerns. Agriculture programs at Ontario colleges examine these issues while equipping students with the skills and knowledge to move the industry forward toward a sustainable and ethical model for global agricultural development.
If you have an interest in the worldwide food supply chain and want to be a part of the agriculture business, here’s what you need to know.
Though many agriculture programs cover all aspects of the agriculture industry, from farming and livestock management to agriculture technology and agriculture law and policy, others will specialize in particular areas of the industry, including:
- Sustainable Agriculture. Sustainable agriculture programs focus on ecological and organic agriculture, through natural farming methods, small farm operations and niche market farming. Courses cover topics like soil science, weed and pest ecology, and pasture management.
- Agri-Food. Agri-food programs focus on the sectors involved in food production, from the farm supply industry to transportation, inspection and retail markets. Courses in these programs will cover topics like food microbiology, supply chain management and quality assurance. Courses in business and marketing will also be included.
Field experience and work placements are an important part of the curriculum in all agriculture programs.
General Agriculture Program Requirements
Agriculture programs at Ontario colleges generally require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Specialized agriculture programs (such as sustainable agriculture programs) may require a prior diploma in a related field, or a combination of work experience and education.
Agriculture Jobs and Salaries
Many students who graduate from Ontario college agriculture programs have a background in farming, and will continue on that path by starting their own farms, working on family farms or joining pre-established commercial farms. Other agricultural jobs include:
- Food safety and inspection
- Agricultural marketing and retail sales
Salaries for jobs in agriculture are difficult to predict as a lot depends on which aspect of the industry you are in as well as the position you hold. The average salary for a food inspector, for example, can range from mid-$30,000 to $80,000 or higher, depending on experience and position. Transportation and warehouse salaries also vary based on level of experience and position.
Ontario Colleges Offering Agriculture Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of agriculture programs at Ontario colleges.