Conestoga College program to train farm equipment operators

The new program received funding from provincial and federal governments

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A new college program to train students in the latest in agriculture equipment is getting funding from the provincial and federal governments.

The Conestoga College program will start as a pilot project to expand training opportunities for current farm sector employees and better prepare those interesting in careers in agriculture to work on farms.

Why it matters: Farm labour is difficult to find, and as farm machinery become more complex, trained operators will be in demand.

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The project aims to provide education in skilled trade areas such as spraying and fertilizing, and custom tillage and harvesting.

The $180,000 for the Conestoga College program is being funded as part of the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which recently funded other projects such as the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s support system for agriculture employment called Feeding Your Future, and a Food and Beverage Ontario campaign to build confidence in frontline food workers.

“Our government is doing everything possible to ensure farmers both today and those in the future have the training and skills necessary to operate their farm operations effectively,” says Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.

“As well as addressing critical workforce needs in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector, the Agriculture Equipment Operator training initiative will provide opportunities for local residents to develop in-demand skills, advance their careers and contribute to the success and well-being of the community,” said John Tibbits, president, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

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