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Overview

Assiniboine’s two-year Agribusiness diploma enables students to succeed in one of Manitoba’s largest industries with an in-depth education focusing on the science, business and technology aspects of agriculture. The program supports the current and growing labour gap in the agriculture and agri-food sector in Manitoba and Western Canada. 

Potential employers include grain sourcing companies, seed and crop inputs suppliers, banks and credit unions, livestock supply outlets, agricultural equipment dealers, government agencies, agronomists/consultants, researchers and insurance companies.  

Graduates have the option to seek membership in Manitoba Institute of Agrologists Manitoba as Technical Agrologists, to elect to complete certifications required for Pesticide Applicators/ Dispenser licensing in Manitoba, and to challenge the Prairie Provinces’ Certified Crop Advisor exam. 

Program Learning Outcomes 

  • Integrate and apply various agricultural business skills to industry expectations.  
  • Integrate and apply various field technical skills to industry standards.  
  • Develop specialized plans for the agribusiness sector, including commodity marketing plans, marketing and sales strategies, crop and livestock production plans, farm safety and environmental farm plans, agribusiness plans, soil management and soil fertility management plans, and succession/estate management plan. 
  • Apply agro-ecology and precision agriculture technology knowledge to make appropriate management decisions.  
  • Apply environmental land management practices to agricultural land use and landscapes. 
  • Employ precision agriculture skills and other technologies to solve problems in industry applications.  
  • Apply principles of macro and microeconomics, financial accounting, and math in the context of agricultural business practices. 
  • Analyze and evaluate financial statements, budgts, and investment decisions relevant to the agribusiness sector. 
  • Apply business principles and management techniques to agricultural operations and practices. 
  • Evaluate and implement risk management strategies for agricultural operations. 
  • Evaluate and apply supply chain management principles in the agribusiness sector. 
  • Design cropping systems and apply effective practices in crop production systems in Western Canada including integrated approaches.  
  • Develop Integrated Pest Management systems including assessment techniques, field scouting procedures, and appropriate record keeping.  
  • Apply occupational health and safety measures, demonstrate mental health awareness in agriculture, and use safe equipment operation and maintenance procedures for equipment used in agribusiness. 
  • Apply on-farm production knowledge including codes of practice; nutrition, feed and forage; safety protocols and biosecurity in various areas of Canadian livestock production.  
  • Apply knowledge of agriculture field equipment and their suitability to farm operations based on evaluation of key considerations including utilization, cost and return on investment. 
  • Demonstrate professionalism, ethical behaviour, critical thinking, creativity, effective communication, and conflict management strategies in the workplace. 
  • Demonstrate proficiency in computer applications and software relevant to the agribusiness sector. 

Examples of what jobs graduates from this program can do: 

  • Career opportunities include entry-level positions in agriculture, agronomy, sales and service, finance, livestock, marketing, management, research, administration and precision agriculture. 

Success Factors 

You might be a good fit for this program if you would enjoy any of the following: 

  • A career in or supporting the agricultural and food production industry  
  • A business-focused program, including sales, budgets, operations, and planning 
  • Collecting, organizing, and analyzing data to solve problems 
  • Interpreting and applying various acts, regulations, policies, and procedures 
  • Learning new technologies and software applications 
  • Potential to work in a variety of urban and rural communities in both indoor and outdoor settings 

A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is strongly recommended given the potential need to travel for co-op placement. 

The industry and program environment often requires individuals to: 

  • Be able and willing to travel. 
  • Possess a valid driver’s license, and access to a vehicle. 
  • Ability to quickly problem solve and deal with customer conflicts and complaints in a professional manner. 
  • Form and maintain strong customer and client relationships with diverse stakeholders including producers. 
  • Apply business practices to crop, livestock and or mixed farm operations. 
  • Manage product, price, placement and promotion to sell to and meet customer needs. 
  • Work in outdoor settings in varied terrain such as a greenhouse, field or pasture; manoeuver around equipment, crops, and animals in all kinds of weather. 
  • Operate equipment as required. 
  • Be self-motivated and results-oriented with the ability to deliver strong results in an often-unsupervised environment.

Admissions

  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent
  • English 40G/40S or equivalent
  • Consumer/Essential Mathematics 40S or equivalent

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

International Applicants

International students can find more information in the Helpful Information for International Applicants.

Program Considerations

A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is strongly recommended given the potential need to travel for co-op work placement.

Careers & Connections

Career Opportunities

  • Grain companies
  • Seed and fertilizers providers
  • Banks and credit unions
  • Livestock supply outlets
  • Agricultural equipment dealers
  • Government agencies
  • Agronomy
  • Cooperatives

Connections

Agreements exist with the University of Minnesota Crookston for recognition of training received in this program.

Graduates are also eligible:

  • For membership in Manitoba Institute of Agrologists as technical agrologists
  • To elect to complete certifications required for Pesticide Applicators/Dispenser licensing in Manitoba
  • To challenge the Prairie Provinces’ Certified Crop Advisor exam

Assiniboine has a number of agreements with other colleges, universities, and professional organizations, making it possible for students to apply credit taken at Assiniboine to programs at other institutions. For up-to-date information on agreements, visit our Articulation Agreements page.

Tools & Supplies

We take our program outdoors for field labs, we also have a soils lab and a plant lab equipped with microscopes and growth chambers on campus, as well as a new sustainable greenhouse located at the North Hill Campus. We go on related industry tours and many guest speakers present throughout the year.

Our classrooms, labs and shops are equipped with the necessary equipment that you need to make the most of your experience. However, there are some tools and supplies that you will need to purchase for personal use to help you with your studies. Much of what you purchase you’ll be able to use after you graduate and begin your career. Tool and supply lists are available from the school office 30 days prior to the start date of the program.

Textbooks, supplies and uniforms for all of our programs and courses may be purchased at the ACC Bookstore at the Victoria Avenue East Campus, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Booklists are available from your school office 30 days prior to the start date of your program. Visit the Assiniboine Bookstore website to learn more.

Program Checklist and Textbooks/Supplies

 

Technology Requirements

Students in this program are required to bring their own laptop and smartphone for use on-campus. The laptop and smartphone must meet the technical needs outlined by the program. MAC computing devices are not compatible with program software. Refer to assiniboine.net/tech for detailed information. 

Courses & Costs

Costs

Estimated Program Costs (Domestic students)
  Credits Tuition Course fees Students' Association fees (Inc Health Premium) Estimated textbooks, tools and supplies
Agribusiness (Year 1) 63 $3,800 $1,190 $480 $930
Agribusiness (Year 2) 60 $3,400 $1,020 $470 $400

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

Estimated Program Costs (International students)
  Credits Tuition Course Fees Students' Association fees (Inc Health Premium) Required Health Insurance Textbooks, Tools, & Supplies
Agribusiness (Year 1) 63 $16,470 $1,190 $480 $750 $930
Agribusiness (Year 2) 60 $15,270 $1,020 $470 $750 $400

All fees are estimated and are subject to change without notice. All international students must purchase health insurance. The college adds this fee to your student account and then sends your name and fee to the insurance provider on your behalf.

Courses

To graduate with an Agribusiness diploma, students must successfully complete 123 academic credits. The minimum passing grade for each course is indicated on the course outline.

Year 1 Courses
Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
1st Aid - Emergency (HLTH-0030)

Basic First Aid & CPR techniques taught in an interactive environment for individuals and employees who want an overview of First Aid & CPR in the workplace or home. The course covers skills needed to recognize, prevent and respond to cardiovascular emergences for Adults, CPR and other topics such as choking, airway and breathing emergencies, and prevention of disease transmission. This course meets the minimum regulations for Workplace Health & Safety for Basic First Aid. Participants who meet the required standard receive a nationally recognized certification that is valid for three years. Textbook included in cost of tuition.

0 credit(s) No No No
Agribusiness Math (MATH-0106)

In this course, students learn to apply mathematical concepts to agricultural, financial and business applications in agribusiness management. More than a math refresher, this course prepares students for performing calculations in subsequent courses, their professional career and personal life. These skills form the foundation to make reliable and profitable decisions essential to the success of agribusinesses through the implementation of new and emerging technologies.

6 credit(s) No No No
Agro-Ecology Field Laboratory (AGRC-0162)

This course introduces students to key features, challenges and sustainable management of the prairie agro-ecological landscape systems. Based on various field and laboratory exercises and guided site tours, this course provides hands-on training to students by introducing them to various agricultural and environmental sites discussing origin, development and classification of soils, water resources, wetlands and river dynamics, crop agronomy and weeds identification, wild-life habitat, forestry and shelterbelts, the Dominion Land Survey (DLS), mapping and Global Positioning System (GPS), agricultural equipment and livestock production.
Based on field and laboratory exercises and tours, this course introduces students to key features of the prairie agro-ecological landscape. Various aspects are discussed including soils, water, native vegetation, the Dominion land survey, map reading, and crop and livestock production. The concepts of integrated watershed management and the use of mapping and GPS technology are introduced.

6 credit(s) No No No
Co-op Work Placement - AGRB (COOP-0034)

Prerequisites: PEDV-0313 Professional Development, AGRC-0295 Crop Pest Management, AGRC-0290 Soil & Soil Fertility, HLTH-0277 Occupational Health & Safety, AGRC-0219 Crop Production Systems, plus cumulative weighted grade point average (CWGPA) of 2.0 or greater.
This requires a minimum of 600 hours of full-time, paid, related work experience. The work placement is subject to prior approval of and monitoring by a faculty member. Credit is based on successful completion of the work placement plus assignments based on the student's work experience.

3 credit(s) No No No
College Foundations (PEDV-0356)

This course improves students’ ability to navigate the college experience and environment, including student's rights, roles, and responsibilities. In this course, students reflect on their skills, attitudes, and expectations and develop learning strategies to help them to become successful, resilient, and self-directed learners. The course covers topics such as success in online learning, time management strategies, learning strategies, assessment taking strategies, academic integrity, information and digital literacy, and wellness, among others. It integrates elements of student orientation.

0 credit(s) No No No
Communications and Technology (COMP-0571)

This course will help students communicate better in the work world.  Using technology as a communication tool, students will learn to write, present, organize and interpret data, and interact with the online world.  

6 credit(s) No No No
Crop Pest Management (AGRC-0295)

Co-requisite: AGRC-0162 Agro-Ecology Field Laboratory
Students learn integrated pest management skills to provide sustainable pest (weed, disease and insect) management solutions for major crops in Western Canada. Students learn to understand biology, identification and cultural control of agricultural pests at various lifecycle stages. Pest monitoring and scouting techniques are also examined in detail to determine pest severity and population threshold levels during field investigations. Research on benefits of pest forecasting using pest sampling, remote sensing and aerial imagery are also examined. Integrated pest management tools, especially cultural, mechanical and biological control (natural enemies and predators) are discussed in detail to help students design pest management programs for major crops in Western Canada.

6 credit(s) No No No
Crop Production Systems (AGRC-0219)

Prerequisite: AGRC-0278 Food Production Methods
This course covers the production of cereal grains, oilseeds, legumes, forages and special crops. Topics include the history and development of crop production and plant breeding. Students focus on the anatomy of cultivated plants and the key production practices unique to each crop including crop establishment, harvest and storage. Students examine the concepts of sustainable decision making in cropping systems as it relates to crop rotation and managing plant health. This course includes a hands-on laboratory component focused on crop staging and health.

6 credit(s) No No No
Financial Accounting 1 (ACCT-0058)

Prequisite: MATH-0106 Agribusiness Math
This introductory course in the fundamental principles of accounting provides a basic understanding and application of principles relating to the accounting cycle and current assets.

6 credit(s) No No No
Occupational Health & Safety (HLTH-0277)

Learn the importance of having a safety first attitude and the responsibilities of owners, supervisors and employees in applying safe work skills. From primary production to agri-retailservice and input supply, businesses require detailed safety systems and programs to manage and control hazards. As agribusinesses grow larger and become specialized with larger equipment, the need for customized components within a safety system increases. Training on Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015), updated with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG), for safe shipping, transporting, receiving and handling of crop protectionproducts and Anhydrous Ammonia is also provided. Safety requirements for businesses covered provincially (Workplace Safety and Health Act-W210) and federally (The Canada Labour Code) is discussed. Gain hands-on experience implementing a safety and health system for an employer in a group project and host a safety workshop showcasing their applied safety training.

6 credit(s) No No No
Pesticides in Agriculture (PEST-0103)

Prerequisite: MATH-0106 Agribusiness Math
Students learn the unique properties of pesticide products, proper use, handling and storage of pesticides, safety and health precautions for the student and the environment, and emergency responses and procedures. They focus on proper application and dispensing of agricultural pesticides in accordance with federal and provincial legislation. Students demonstrate pesticide rate calculations, sprayer calibration techniques and proper pesticide complaint handling procedures. A focus is placed on pesticide rotation to prevent the development of pesticide resistance. This course prepares the student for the Pesticide Core and Agriculture Ground exams required for licensing as a pesticide applicator/dispenser.

6 credit(s) No No No
Professional Development (PEDV-0313)

This course prepares students to perform at a high level as stakeholders in the agriculture and environmental industries. Topics include preparing for and understanding the workplace, striving for performance, interacting efficiently, and sharing the organizational vision.

6 credit(s) No No No
Soil & Soil Fertility (AGRC-0290)

Prerequisites: MATH-0106 Agribusiness Math, AGRC-0162 Agro-Ecology Field Laboratory
In this course, students investigate the nature and properties of soils, i.e. how physical, chemical, and biological properties and processes within soils influence the crop growth and development. Students also analyze the key topic of development, degradation and conservation of soil resources. Methods of soil sampling and soil test interpretation are also discussed in details to help students understand the nutrient requirements of crops of Western Canada. Students learn to determine crop nutrient requirements, deficiency symptoms and select proper fertilizer application techniques based on sustainable soil management practices. This course also prepare students to decision-making as it relates to crop nutrient requirement calculations, fertility planning and application of agricultural fertilizers using suitable agricultural machinery.

6 credit(s) No No No
Year 2 Courses
Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
Agribusiness Management (BUSN-0164)

Prerequisites: MATH-0106 Agribusiness Math; ACCT-0003 Financial Accounting 1; COMP-0571 Communications and Technology
Microeconomic and financial management concepts are applied, with the guidance of business mentors in various business planning scenarios and lectures, to evaluate and optimize profitability. Students also learn to apply macroeconomic concepts (fiscal and monetary policy) and credit management skills to reduce exposure to financial, production and marketing risk. The potential for market growth is evaluated within the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-food system. Succession planning and accompanying tax implications are also examined in various workshops using expert speakers. An opportunity is also provided for students to learn how to set-up an accounting system for their group project to create financial statements with customized accounts, capital assets, enterprises and opening balances, building upon skills learned earlier, using AgExpert Analyst financial management software.

6 credit(s) No No No
Agribusiness Marketing (MKTG-0064)

This course provides students with an understanding of marketing in the agriculture industry, with an emphasis placed on agribusiness promotions.  Topics include marketing values decisions, understanding consumers’ value needs, and value proposition.  Students will select an agriculture product or service and create a territory marketing plan throughout the semester.

6 credit(s) No No No
Agribusiness Plan (BUSN-0161)

Prerequisites: BUSN-0164 Agribusiness Management and MKTG-0064 Agribusiness Marketing
In this capstone course, students incorporate and apply concepts learned in their prior courses within the Agribusiness program to develop and present a full agri-business plan. Production related courses such as, Precision Agriculture, Soil & Soil Fertility, Crop Pest Management, Environmental Land Management and Crop Productions Systems, are reinforced by business and personal growth skillslearned in areas like Commodity Marketing, Professional Development, Communications & Technology, Agribusiness Management, and Customer Relations. This accumulated knowledge is integrated throughout this course to develop detailed plans for the evaluation of land, crops, livestock, marketing, financials, safety, and the environment to provide hands-on experience for students to succeed in the agriculture industry.

6 credit(s) No No No
Agricultural Equipment (AGRC-0296)

In this course, students learn about the operation, management and economics of equipment used in agricultural production systems of Western Canada. Students learn about specific requirements and types of equipment for cereal and forage production. Students are exposed to industry through visits, expert talks and equipment walk arounds at various dealerships and manufacturing facilities in the area. Students also learn about Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSH) and Regulations and Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to tractors operation, seeding, spraying, harvesting, forage and hay management equipment. Students also learn about equipment selection and preparation of machinery cost evaluation report for a specific agricultural enterprise.

6 credit(s) No No No
Commodity Marketing (MKTG-0063)

Students learn the factors that make for profitable commodity marketing in Canada. From classifications, grades, end uses, production, export, consumption, macroeconomics and currency rates, students will gain a better understanding to follow fundamental factors influencing price. Students identify significant grade determinants and practice grain grading techniques while gaining an understanding of supply chain management. Students also learn price risk management strategies to preserve profit margin and increase net returns. A variety of marketing tools such as delivery contracts, hedges and options are examined. Technical analysis, along with basis tracking and assessment skills, are provided to enable the producer to select and time effective market entry and exit. Students gain hands-on experience using a marketing information service platform.

6 credit(s) No No No
Customer Relations (BUSN-0163)

Prerequisites: PEDV-0313 Professional Development, COMP-0571 Communications and Technology
This course develops the skills needed to succeed in a career as an outside sales representative in the Western Canadian agriculture industry. Students will select an agricultural product or service and participate in a comprehensive case study and accompanying role plays for the entire semester. The case study and role plays will cover all steps leading up to and covering an entire sales presentation.

6 credit(s) No No No
Environmental Land Management (ENVR-0038)

Prerequsitie: AGRC-0290 Soil & Soil Fertility
Corequisite: AGRC-0294 Livestock Production
In this course, students investigate the basic soils properties and geological features of the region. Students also examine the physical landscape focusing on land and water and its interconnection and interdependence within an agricultural production system. Students gain knowledge on soil erosion, water sources, water quality, environmental regulations, risk assessment and best resource management practices. Students also learn about an environmental farm plan to identify farm related environmental and safety issues.

6 credit(s) No No No
Integrated Crop Management (AGRC-0293)

Prerequisites: PEST-0103 Pesticides in Agriculture, AGRC-0295 Crop Pest Management, AGRC-0219 Crop Production Systems, AGRC-0290 Soil & Soil Fertility
Corequisite: COMP-0570 Precision Agriculture
This advanced agronomics course focuses on best management practices to maximize returns. Students analyze production factors and practices including crop rotation, tillage, soil fertility, soil health, cultivar selection, planting strategies, pest management, biosecurity and harvesting techniques. A systems approach to crop management is emphasized using multiple case studies where students will focus on enhanced crop diagnostic skills and sustainable crop production decisions. This course includes a field component that focuses on scouting and the development of crop plans.

6 credit(s) No No No
Livestock Production (AGRC-0294)

Corequisite: ENVR-0038 Environmental Land Management
Students explore the livestock enterprises common to Canadian food production on a national and provincial basis. Students learn about current and emerging on-farm production for each class of livestock and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each livestock sector. Reproduction, marketing, slaughter, and processing are included as part of on-farm production discussions. Digestive systems and nutritional requirements of ruminant and non-ruminant livestock are examined. Students learn to analysis feed components and forage quality while being introduced to ration formulation. Students compare forage razing systems, riparian management and pasture management systems including their role in greenhouse gas mitigation. Emphasis is on the fact that the consumers desired end product, determines on-farm production practices.

6 credit(s) No No No
Pesticides in Agriculture (PEST-0103)

Prerequisite: MATH-0106 Agribusiness Math
Students learn the unique properties of pesticide products, proper use, handling and storage of pesticides, safety and health precautions for the student and the environment, and emergency responses and procedures. They focus on proper application and dispensing of agricultural pesticides in accordance with federal and provincial legislation. Students demonstrate pesticide rate calculations, sprayer calibration techniques and proper pesticide complaint handling procedures. A focus is placed on pesticide rotation to prevent the development of pesticide resistance. This course prepares the student for the Pesticide Core and Agriculture Ground exams required for licensing as a pesticide applicator/dispenser.

6 credit(s) No No No
Precision Agriculture (COMP-0570)

Corequisite: AGRC-0293 Integrated Crop Management
This course familiarizes students with data collection techniques, equipment and software commonly used in precision agriculture. Focus is on the use and application of tools related to Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Students learn proficiency in GPS equipment by incorporating the fundamental concepts of what makes GPS work. The concepts of different coordinates systems are also integrated. How to plot and read the coordinates of positions on a map and a recreational grade GPS will also be studied. Students become proficient in data collection and mapping field collected data as well as sourcing and interpreting various agricultural GIS data layers available. Emphasis is on decision-making using many different Precision Agriculture models and spatial data layers.

6 credit(s) No No No

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming.

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.