Master of Sustainable Agriculture Degree Launched By University of Guelph - Cowsmo

Master of Sustainable Agriculture Degree Launched By University of Guelph

A new, interdisciplinary Master of Sustainable Agriculture (MSAg) is being offered by the University of Guelph, starting in the summer of 2025.

The university said in a release the
new MSAg will “equip students with the latest advancements and skills in sustainable agriculture, data analysis and agri-tech innovations through graduate-level course work.”

During the 16-month program, students will focus their studies in either plant agriculture, livestock agriculture, or environmental sciences. The course-based program provides a broad exploration of the various facets of the agriculture sector and how to mitigate its impact on the environment, the university said.

Course offerings are flexible, and professional development opportunities will allow students to customize their studies to match their career aspirations. Courses students can choose from include social science courses in agricultural economics, change communication and leadership, “to give them a broad perspective of sustainability and how to drive change in the sector,” the university said.

A major component of the program is focused on experiential learning, including hands-on field courses and site visits to major agricultural operations throughout Ontario.  Students will also have the opportunity to participate in an internship to work on projects for agricultural organizations to help bolster their sustainability efforts.

“Students will have many opportunities to connect with potential employers in the agricultural sector, acting as a launching pad for their career,” OAC acting dean John Cranfield said in the release.

Students will begin their first semester of the program at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, where they will live in residence, complete field courses, visit agricultural operations and “immerse themselves in the campus’s unique rural community. ” After their semester at Ridgetown, students transition to the Guelph campus to finish the remainder of their courses.

The skills and training that graduates receive in this new master’s will help build a more sustainable Canadian agricultural sector, said Cranfield.

“Equipping students with comprehensive knowledge and advanced training in sustainable agriculture practices is critical to the health and longevity of the sector.”

As Canadian food producers transition some traditional tasks to smart machines and focus on strategy and systems, the need for new skills in data analysis, communications and sustainability leadership have become even more critical, Nevin McDougall, managing partner of RHA Ventures Inc. said in the release.

“It’s clear that consumers of our industry are demanding that more sustainable production practices be developed and implemented,” said McDougall. “This new program will help develop future professionals who possess the skills necessary to address this opportunity.”

Students interested in the master of sustainable agriculture are encouraged to contact the OAC admissions team. Prospective students are advised that the program is still subject to formal approval by the Ontario Universities’ Council on Quality Assurance.

Source: Farmtario / Kristy Nudds

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