About Ridgetown Campus
To be a leader in applied agriculture, animal science, and environmental research, and in life-long learning initiatives that are practical and relevant to society.
Advancing society through agri-food research and science-based learning.
- FULL-TIME STUDENTS
- TEACHING STAFF
- ACRES OF LAND AND GROUNDS
- OVERALL EMPLOYMENT RATE
History of Ridgetown Campus
Ridgetown campus has enjoyed a proud history of over 90 years in research and over 60 years of providing quality education programs.
The history of Ridgetown Campus begins in 1922 when the Western Ontario Experimental Farm was established on land purchased by the Ontario government. This farm was operated under the Ontario Department of Agriculture as a research facility for variety testing, production trials, and fertility studies of corn, beans, sugar beets and tobacco. Potato and horticulture crops, as well as chemical control of insects and plant diseases, were added a few years later.
In 1936, a two-year course in agriculture was initiated to teach practical agricultural practices; classes were scheduled so as not to interfere with the farm season. Fourteen students graduated in the spring of 1938. The program was terminated after two years because of a lack of student living facilities. Research continued to be a priority at Ridgetown and the first "Farmers Week"" (to educate farmers on better farming practices) was held in 1939.
In the late 1940s, the idea of a residential school for a two-year diploma course in agriculture was revived by J.C. Steckley, Director of the Experimental Farm. The Department of Agriculture agreed to the construction of a residence building, named Steckley Hall. More land was purchased to add to the experimental farm.
The first students enrolled at the Western Ontario Agricultural School (WOAS) in 1951; they graduated in 1953. These students paid course fees of $179 and an extra $140 for room and board in the college dormitory for the 20-week school year.
In 1997, Ridgetown College became a regional campus of the University of Guelph. Research and education programs continue to expand at Ridgetown Campus.
Academic programs expanded to include a certificate in Performance Horse Handler. In 2006, the campus opened the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre, a project of the Ridgetown Agri-Food Foundation.
We offer five diplomas, one certificate, and one apprenticeship program. There are 120 full-time faculty and staff, plus contract teachers, serving the needs of 550 full-time students. Our applied research projects provide practical results that are appreciated by farmers and respected by professionals around the world.