EARN MICROCREDENTIALS IN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Now offered through Lakeland College and Olds College.
ARE YOU READY TO HELP PRODUCERS MAKE SUSTAINABLE CHANGES ON FARM?
As climate change intensifies, so do the challenges it brings with it. The On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) is an initiative to help farmers tackle climate change. With funding available in three key BMP areas — Nitrogen Management, Cover Cropping, and Rotational Grazing — farmers are becoming even more equipped to handle environmental changes.
While OFCAF provides funding to farmers, recommendations from field experts — Professional Agrologists (P.Ags) and Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) — are necessary to ensure that the changes they’re making are suitable to their farm operation.
As a delivery partner for OFCAF, RDAR is supporting Olds College of Agriculture & Technology and Lakeland College to offer three new microcredential courses that allow industry experts to gain certification for each BMP area. These courses are designed to be an optional learning opportunity for P.Ags and CCAs and are not mandatory to make BMP Action Plan recommendations.
Microcredential courses are short-term, flexible, industry-driven, and skills based. Courses in Nitrogen Management, Cover Cropping, and Rotational Grazing will advance sustainable thinking and equip climate professionals with the tools and knowledge to support Alberta farmers and ranchers looking to take climate-smart action on their operations.
The microcredentials provide the opportunity for professionals to upgrade their knowledge in three key BMP areas aligned with the OFCAF initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Climate Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund.
- Courses begin March 15, 2023 and will be offered on the second Wednesday of each month thereafter.
- Courses are offered online through Olds College and Lakeland College.
- Students can choose to complete one or all three microcredentials for each BMP area.
What is a Microcredential?
Microcredentials are an opportunity to maintain or upgrade employment skills. They provide agriculture industry-aligned, focused skills that industry professionals are looking for. They can be achieved through the completion of the microcredential training and assessment.
Who are these courses for?
- Professional Agrologists and Certified Crop advisors who provide on-farm beneficial management practices (BMPs) recommendations and approvals.
- Agriculture professionals looking to upgrade by learning new sustainable and climate-smart skills.
- Anyone looking for new opportunities in agriculture that connect to climate change and on-farm sustainability.
What are the benefits of taking Sustainable Agriculture Microcredentials?
Sustainable Agriculture Microcredentials have a variety of benefits:
- Skills: knowledge and skills gained are practical and applicable to advancing your BMP knowledge to help clients that require relevant OFCAF guidance.
- Showcase: microcredentials immediately and visually demonstrate your capabilities to existing and clients and employers.
- Schedule: delivered in an online and self-directed format means you can learn at your own pace during a time that works around your schedule.
- Short: each credential takes approximately 10 hours, and most offerings are completed in less than a month.
What are the expected learning outcomes?
Competencies that learners will gain by the end of the Sustainable Agriculture Digital Badge may include:
- Deep understanding of how to support clients with BMP plans, BMP recommendations and approvals.
- Gain up-to-date and industry demanded knowledge in nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing.
- Expand your knowledge in the areas of cover cropping, livestock, and soil health.
- Explore new practices to implement on-farm.
To meet the needs of learners across the province, Olds College of Agriculture & Technology and Lakeland College will be offering microcredential courses online. Courses begin on March 15th and will be offered on the second Wednesday of each month thereafter. Each course will take approximately 10 hours to complete, and you have 2 months to complete the work.
Upon completion of each BMP microcredential, learners will be awarded a Digital Badge. Digital Badges can be shared with clients and future employers to immediately show your climate change competencies earned at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology and Lakeland College.
Funding for this program has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund.