News and Events

MHC adds Agroecology to program mix

Man standing in a field looking toward distant hills
January 22, 2021

An exciting program has been added to Medicine Hat College’s academic offering, giving new career opportunities to students interested in sustainable agriculture.

The Agroecology Technician diploma program provides students with the competencies required for producing food, forage, fiber, and fuel using sustainable methods, as well as a range of knowledge in the three E’s: environment, economics, and energy using systems theory.

Learners will also gain real-world experience in designing, monitoring and assessing sustainable agroecological systems, meeting the knowledge, technical skills, and performance competencies required for certification with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists.

“Medicine Hat College is excited to bring this opportunity to learners in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan as the program is well-aligned and serves the needs of our region and communities in terms of offering new streams of employment and alternative ways of doing agriculture,” explains the program’s coordinator, Brent Smith.

“Agriculture is one of southern Alberta’s leading industries, and there is always going to be resources and demand for agriculture because everyone needs to eat. This program leverages an important part of our region’s economic sector and prepares students to find meaningful, long-term employment and a future income stream that’s not going to be subject to market forces.”

Employment opportunities that stem from the completion of the Agroecology Technician diploma include agricultural research technician, urban agriculture designer or landscaper, range management consultant or professional, and an environmental consultant.

Graduates will also be equipped with the entrepreneurial knowledge needed to start a business in sustainable agriculture or greenhouse horticulture, or support the take over of a family agriculture business as a crop or livestock producer.

“An exciting aspect to this program is the innovative and creative opportunities in diversifying current practices and products that will emerge. There are all kinds of agricultural products that our region is well-suited to produce that we are currently not taking advantage of, and this program can be influential in creating new industry and bringing subsequent jobs in our region,” adds Smith.

Upon completion of the diploma, students will also have the opportunity to transfer to universities offering sustainable agriculture programs.

Application processing starts Nov. 1, 2020 for Fall 2021.

Learn more about the Agroecology Technician program at MHC.