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Associate Diploma in Agriculture

Study Agriculture

Interested in crops, animals, business and environmental sustainability? Study at Ridgetown Campus to develop the skills needed to work in the ever-evolving Canadian agricultural sector.

This skills-oriented program combines practical experience in agricultural production with technical and scientific information. You will develop the business management, computer skills,  problem-solving abilities and personal network needed for your career in agriculture.

Program Benefits

2-year program

In only two years, you’ll be ready for your career with applied and practical experiences in lectures and labs.

Learn from the best

Learn from world-class agricultural scientists and understand the latest trends and best practices from industry and research.

Unique facilities

Explore course concepts in on-campus livestock barns, research fields and labs.

Co-op option

Choose co-op and complete one work term during the summer to gain extra work experience. 

4 areas of focus

Through course selection, you can focus your studies on crops, livestock, business or resource management.

Customize your studies

Of the 24 courses you will take, you will pick 8 electives to match your interests: business, crops, livestock, vegetable production, etc.

Co-op Option

Co-operative education is an opportunity for you to extend your learning beyond the classroom. As a co-op student, you will gain work experience, build professional networks, and develop interpersonal skills essential to pursuing a career in agriculture. Plus, you’ll get paid while earning your diploma.

In the co-op program, you will participate in one (1) co-op work term (during the summer) in addition to four academic semesters.

Co-op students receive an exceptional level of support in securing a placement. You will take a co-op preparatory course, a Co-op Coordinator will assist you during the employment process, and you will have access to senior student mentors.

Read more about the Co-op program here.

95%

of graduates are employed within 2 months of program completion.

450 acres

of beautiful campus grounds and research plots.

4

teaching barns (dairy, beef, swine and sheep).

Degree Pathway

Graduates of the Associate Diploma in Agriculture program can receive 7.5 transfer credits toward the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program at the University of Guelph. In many cases, this eliminates one to two (1-2) years from degree completion time. Transfer students must have a minimum cumulative average of 75% or higher in the associate diploma program and must have completed 4U Advanced Functions (or equivalent) and 4U Chemistry (or equivalent including CHEM 1060) in high school. Learn more about the U of G Degree Pathways here.

Required Courses

Year One

DAGR*1000 Students will gain an overall understanding of the livestock industry, focusing on major production issues and future challenges. Examples from various livestock production systems will be highlighted.
DAGR*1070 This course introduces business management principles, functions, and processes. Students will learn about the business environment, decision-making, and the role of the organizational functions, with a particular focus on accounting principles, accounting statements, and the use of financial information.
DAGR*1090 Students will develop written language skills and become proficient at using word processing software. Practical skills include writing business letters and other business correspondence, resumes, formal and informal reports, instructional writing, critical thinking and critical writing. Students will become familiarized with campus software systems including campus e-mail, library resources, and classroom support software. Instruction will be provided in computer file management and using the internet as a research tool.
DAGR*1200 This course covers the basic structure and function of plants and the major functions involved in growth and reproduction as they relate to the production of plants. Topics to be discussed will include: plant processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, nutrient uptake and reproduction, basic genetic principles, basic chemistry and the relationship and importance of plant science to the agricultural and horticultural industry.
DAGR*1300 This course includes origin and classification of soils, identification and importance of major soil types, identification of primary and secondary nutrients and how they are supplied, composition of soil including minerals, water, air, organic matter and biological organisms and how they interact and the importance of soil as a resource.
DAGR*1600 This course is designed to augment mathematics skills necessary to compete in today's business environments. Typical applications are chemical rate conversions, solutions and mixtures, elementary algebra and financial topics. The aim is to teach students how to solve actual mathematical problems encountered in the day-to-day operation of agricultural/horticultural/environmental operations.
DAGR*1350 The course will cover the operating principles and components of tractors and equipment for tillage, planting, and the application of chemicals and fertilizers and harvesting. The course will emphasize safety in all aspects of the operation of agricultural equipment.
DAGR*2020 Student will learn important concepts and techniques required to analyze financial performance and guide business decision making. A broad range of financial topics will be covered, including financial statements and cash flow analysis, financial forecasting and planning, internal control, budgeting, taxation, and the time value of money.
DAGR*2090 Students will develop effective oral communication and presentation skills using software. Oral communication skills, preparing formal and informal reports with and without technological support. Practical presentation skills include the use of voice, eye contact, time appropriateness and response to questions. Students will also understand the importance of formalized meetings and be instructed in the use of spreadsheet software as a data management tool. Software available on personal electronic devices used to access business and production information will be overviewed.
DAGR*2210 Weeds will be studied in relation to agricultural practices. Principles of cultural, biological, and chemical control will be outlined. Laboratories will include weed identification and weed control methods.

Year Two

DAGR*3070 This course will provide an application of fundamental economic concepts to agriculture and an introduction to marketing systems and policy institutions related to the Canadian agriculture industry. Topics will include price determination, futures markets, agricultural commodity marketing tools, effects of government intervention, and international trade.
DAGR*3200 Management systems for the production of corn, soybeans, canola and edible beans will be presented. Specific topics include variety and species selection, row widths, seeding rates, planting dates, fertility, pest management, harvesting and storage. Current research information is discussed in relationship to production practices.
DENM*3150 This course examines the impact and role of farming. Site assessment of environmental risk associated with specific farm operations will be covered by the utilization of best management practices for the conservation of soil, water and other natural resources.
DAGR*4600 Students will learn the theoretical and practical skills of management and interacting with people. Topics will include recruiting, supervising, motivation, training employees, effective listening, dealing with difficult people, group dynamics and leadership skills.

Notes

  • The Associate Diploma in Agriculture requires the completion of 24 courses (12.00 credits) total
  • Wide variety of electives to choose from
  • For a list of all courses and the curriculum layout, please refer to the Associate Diploma Calendar

Careers

Prepare yourself to manage a thriving farm, work for a global agribusiness, finance agricultural innovation, advance livestock genetics, work in agriculture technology, or lead an agricultural commodity board of directors.

  • Primary producer
  • Agricultural finance manager
  • Crop input sale representative
  • Feed sales manager
  • Field scout
  • Gower liaison representative
  • Precision agriculture technician
  • Livestock farm manager
  • Research technician
  • Seed dealership manager 
  • Soil and crop consultant
  • Commodity buyer/trader

There are currently 42 career opportunities posted on the job posting page

Admissions

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or Equivalent
  • A minimum cumulative average of 65% in 6 Grade 11 or Grade 12 U, C, M, or O level courses (excludes Co-op credits)
  • Includes a minimum of Grade 11C Math and Grade 12C English
  • OR Mature Student Status*

* Definition of Mature Student: Do not hold a high school diploma or equivalent, but are 19 years of age or older and out of high school for a minimum of one year; may be required to complete pre-admission testing

  • The official secondary school (high school) graduation certificate/diploma that would admit you to an internationally recognized university in your home country is normally acceptable for applications to our programs
  • For further details on out-of-country admission requirements, including the General Certificate of Education (GCE), please refer to the University of Guelph's website at admission.uoguelph.ca/international
  • Official documents should come directly from the issuing institution or accreditation body in their official, sealed envelope. Where English translations are needed, please have the documents verified and sent by the issuing academic institution
  • Post-secondary transcripts must be assessed by World Education Services (WES). Both a Credentialed assessment and a course-by-course assessment is required. Supporting documentation should be uploaded to your Ontario Colleges Application Account

English Proficiency

Applicants will be required to present evidence of English proficiency if:

  1. Your first language is not English, and
  2. You have had less than four years of full-time secondary or post-secondary school demonstrating satisfactory academic progress in an English-language school system

The following are acceptable English proficiency tests and their related competence levels. Results must not be dated more than 2-years prior to application:

Test Competence Level
International English Language Testing System (IELTS, ielts.org) Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, toefl.org) Internet Based: minimum total score of 89 with no individual scaled score of less than 21
Computer Based: minimum score of 250
Paper Based: minimum score of 600 with a score of 5
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL, cael.ca) Minimum overall band score of 70
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB, isa.umich.edu/eli/testing/melab) Minimum overall score of 85 including composition score of 83 and oral score of 3
Pearson Test of English (PTE, pearsonpte.com) Minimum overall score of 60 with no score less than 60 in the individual components
Advanced Level of English Language Certificate Program (ELCP, eslguelph.ca) Successful completion of the University of Guelph's Open Learning Advanced Level ELCP (levels 9 and 10) is also considered an acceptable form of testing

Fees

Ontario Resident Year 1 Approximate Costs In CAD
Tuition $3,198.60
Compulsory Fees $1,501.65
Co-op Fees (if applicable) $600.00
Textbooks $753.00
Residence (Double Room) $3,420.00
Meal Plan $4,261.00
Total $13,134.25
Total with Co-op Fee $13,734.25
Out of Province Year 1 Approximate Costs In CAD
Tuition $3,358.53
Compulsory Fees $1,501.65
Co-op Fees (if applicable) $600.00
Textbooks $753.00
Residence (Double Room) $3,420.00
Meal Plan $4,261.00
Total $13,294.18
Total with Co-op Fee $13,894.18
International Year 1 Approximates Costs In CAD
Tuition $12,618.08
Compulsory Fees $2,257.65
Co-op Fee (if applicable) $600.00
Textbooks $753.00
Residence (Double Room) $3,420.00
Meal Plan $4,261.00
Total $23,309.73
Total with Co-op Fee $23,909.73

Estimates based on 2022-2023 fee schedule.

Facilities

  • Livestock Barns: Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Swine
  • Lecture Halls
  • Classrooms
  • Computer Labs
  • Library and Resource Centre
  • Study Lounge
  • Student Residence
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium

Are you ready to Improve Life?