Ontario is investing $300,000 in distance education programming to get more people trained as dairy farmers. In partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus is expanding its dairy herdsperson apprenticeship program to include a hybrid distance education option. It’s aimed at students who are not able to study in person full-time or who are already working on a farm.
Participants will learn about animal health, routine herd maintenance and nutrition, and operating farm equipment, according to the province. They will complete 480 hours of classroom training, hearing directly from industry experts about milking, feeding, animal health, reproduction, and other dairy-related skills.
Students will also complete 5,520 hours of on-farm training as part of a paid work placement, where they will learn hands-on skills, including operating and maintaining farm machinery, working directly with animals and processing milk.
The new program is expected to be up and running in 2024.