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Associate Diploma in Agriculture

Program Overview

Interested in crops and/or livestock? Want to contribute to our food system? Study with Ridgetown Campus to develop the skills needed to work in the ever-evolving Canadian agricultural sector. Prepare yourself to manage a thriving farm, work for a global agribusiness, finance agricultural innovation, advance new crop and livestock genetics, or work in advancing agriculture technology.

New for Fall 2022

Consider the new Co-op option. The Co-op program offers students the chance to experience working in the industry while accomplishing their studies.

Program Features

  • 2-year diploma program
  • Combine applied and practical experiences with lectures and labs to learn critical skills
  • Tailor your learning with electives in your area of interest: agribusiness, crops, livestock, fruit and/or vegetable production
  • The Grower Pesticide Safety Course exam is completed within the Applied Weed Science course

Innovative Teaching Team

  • Learn from world-class agricultural scientists who will share the latest trends and best practices with you
  • Recognized teaching faculty with current industry knowledge


  • Complement your applied education with a strong theoretical base and earn an undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph
  • Diploma graduates can receive transfer credits towards a degree. In many cases, this will eliminate 1 to 2 years of your degree completion time
  • Specific pathways are available at

Learn More About

2 Years

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.


  • 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


Why Co-op?

As a co-op student, you will gain firsthand work experience, build professional networks, and develop interpersonal skills that are essential for pursuing a career in agriculture. You will also get paid while earning your diploma. Guelph’s co-op program is unique due to the exceptional level of support provided, including a co-op preparatory course, a personal connection with Co-op Coordinators to assist you during the employment process, and access to senior student mentors.

Course Sequencing

In this co-op program, you will participate in one co-op work term in addition to four academic semesters throughout your two years at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus.

ONE Academic Academic WORK
TWO Academic Academic  


  • Agricultural Finance Manager
  • Crop Input Representative
  • Feed Sales Manager
  • Field Scout/Grower Liaison
  • GPS/Precision Agriculture Technician
  • Livestock Farm Manager
  • Pest Management Scout
  • Primary Producer (Crops or Livestock)
  • Research Technician
  • Seed Marketing Specialist
  • Soil and Crop Consultant

There are currently 6 career opportunities posted on the job posting page


  • 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
  • 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, Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, 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, Minimum overall band score of 70
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB, Minimum overall score of 85 including composition score of 83 and oral score of 3
Pearson Test of English (PTE, Minimum overall score of 60 with no score less than 60 in the individual components
Advanced Level of English Language Certificate Program (ELCP, 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


Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (including textbooks) $5,204
Residence (double room) $2,649
Meal Plan $3,190
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost $14,043
Fee Breakdown Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition (2 semesters) $3,198
Student Organization Fees $390
Additional Program Fees $668
Building Fee $84
Student Dental Insurance $165
Student Health Insurance $165
Insurance $4
Textbooks (approximate) $530
Total Costs $5,204
International Fee Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (including textbooks) $14,022
Residence (double room) $2,649
Meal Plan $3,190
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost $22,861

Estimates based on 2020-2021 fees


  • Livestock Barns: Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Swine
  • Greenhouse
  • Lecture Halls
  • Classrooms
  • Computer Labs
  • Library and Resource Centre
  • Study Lounge
  • Student Residence
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium
  • Large Green Spaces around Campus to Enjoy the Outdoors


We regret that due to COVID-19, we cannot host you on campus at this time. We are pleased to offer you 3 options to connect with us virtually:

  1. RC Connect Info Sessions

    • One-on-One Microsoft Teams meeting with our Student Recruiter
    • Learn about your academic program(s) of interest and have your questions answered
    • Sessions are typically 45 minutes in length
  2. Open House Events

    • These events will offer an opportunity to meet program staff, answer your individual questions, and enjoy a campus overview. Specific academic program Open House sessions are being offered as highlighted. Book a session(s), that fit your schedule and academic interest(s)!
    • Sessions vary in length
  3. Campus Tours

  • To get to know our campus and facilities, we invite you to view our short virtual tour of the Ridgetown Campus or book a campus tour

How To Apply

Ontario Colleges Application Code: R201 & R301 (Co-op)

  • Complete your Ontario Colleges application online at
  • February 1 of the application year is the Equal Consideration deadline. Applications received after this deadline will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis
  • Offers of admission are posted to your Ontario Colleges account starting February 1 of your application year
  • The deadline to accept your offers is May 1 unless otherwise stated in your offer letter
Matthew Roszell

"I grew up on a dairy farm in a small town near Niagara Falls so coming to Ridgetown Campus was an easy decision for me. I am able to get the most out of my learning experience because the class sizes are small, and the teachers know you by name. It’s been easy to make friends and see familiar faces on campus. I’ve loved my experience here at Ridgetown Campus and can’t wait for second year!"

Matthew Roszell

Wainfleet, ON