Certificate In Agriculture

Agriculture Certificate for new farmers, those seeking employment or a qualification. Gain knowledge and skills to run or work farms in: cropping, dairy, beef, pigs, poultry, horse studs and more.

Course CodeVAG001
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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Run the farm, don't run around in circles.

You should study this course if you:Need to develop the essential knowledge and skills required to run a farm 
  • Want to enhance your employment prospects in the agricultural sector

  • Want to maximise return on your investment

This course is designed for both the new and existing farmer or those aiming towards employment in this field. It will give you the knowledge and skills required to run or work confidently i a variety of agricultural environments.

Core units equip you with all the basics needed for general animal health, farm management and all important marketing skills.
Choice of three elective units from a list that includes animal husbandry, soil and pasture management and gives you the opportunity to explore specific aspects of the agricultural industry, including livestock activities such as calf rearing, poultry, beef or dairy cattle, and vegetable and cereal cropping or pasture management.

The course is excellent for learning the fundamentals of farming, to use as a refresher course, or for further skills development.

Learn and receive feedback from a supportive and dedicated team of tutors with a wealth of theoretical knowledge, industry and practical experience.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate In Agriculture.
 Farm Management BAG104
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Agricultural Marketing BAG304
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 15 modules.
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Soil Management (Agriculture) BAG103
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Aquaculture BAG211
 Beef Cattle BAG206
 Calf Rearing BAG207
 Dairy Cattle BAG205
 Mariculture - Marine Aquaculture BAG220
 Pasture Management BAG212
 Pigs BAG209
 Poultry BAG208
 Sheep BAG210
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
 Agronomy BAG306
 Organic Farming BAG305

Note that each module in the Certificate In Agriculture is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Choose your path

This course allows you a choice so you can focus on what you need, and develop a different and specialist set of skills that will differentiate you, and give you an advantage over other agriculture graduates. For most students, it is best to wait until you complete the core modules before choosing electives. In the light of what you learn in the first half of the course; and opportunities that are opening up to you, you will almost certainly be finding modules are needed more than others.
How to approach your assignments
Each lesson in the preceding list culminates in a set task (or tasks) and an assignment. The set tasks are designed to give the student the opportunity to research information beyond what is supplied in the course notes. In conjunction with the assignments they provide the student with the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the topic and apply what they learn to "real life" situations and scenarios. It is important that students actively engage in the learning process through the opportunities provided in the set tasks and assignments.
Students are required to submit assignments at the end of each lesson. These assignments are sent to the relevant tutor for comments and feedback. Students use this feedback to guide their knowledge and to assist them in completing the following lesson assignment. Assignments should be submitted in sequence with sufficient time between submissions to allow for tutor feedback. Students may already own a farm, plan to buy a farm, or work on a farm; but this course may be used for a lot more than just learning how to run a property.

Learn to Plan and Manage a Farm that is Successful

The first step toward improving a property may be to develop a development strategy by drawing farm plan.

A plan drawn to scale and illustrating important attributes such as contours, creeks, hills, cliffs, etc. will aid in the formation of usable land and the most economic land use. Detail such as existing trees, river banks, fences, soil types, summer and winter winds will all be beneficial in the planning and future processes. Some of this information may be available from previous farm owners, local council departments and even Lands Departments.

Siting of existing building structures and knowledge of work patterns and access routes can will allow better planning of new site location and efficient time management.

Sheds and house residence that are placed close together reduce time to get from work to home, aid in better husbandry of animals/crops, improve the security around the farm, reduce transportation between various components of the farm. If it is new farm location, careful placement of the buildings may even reduce costs (eg. house close to road will reduce costs of supply of electricity, water and other services).

Position of the house and appropriate farm buildings should consider agricultural value of land, central location of house to all usable land, proneness to flood, etc. Good land should not be built on - it should be reserved for agricultural use, however if this site is flood prone, then a compromise needs to be reached. Check how often the land, or each part of the land does flood

Exact location of building may also be determined by use and function in the overall plan of farming, Eg. hay shed should be downwind to residences in case of fire; piggeries, poultry sheds, etc should be placed downwind to that of the major buildings of land owners or residences of farm hands, due to dust and odour. Consider the downwind land uses in neighbouring parcels of land.

Always remember to allow appropriate spacing and thoroughfare for machinery and ensure safety in terms of overhead power lines, deep gully near access routes, and degree slopes on the land.

Having a natural source of water on the land is every farmers dream. Considering it is actually a resource, many districts require registration for tapping the resource. Extra care is needed when looking at the potential of farm pollution into the water ways by others upstream of your farm. Water problems can relate to underground water movement as well as more obvious surface water.
 Both types of water can bring pollutants from outside of the property. Note that a licence is usually required to sink a bore or to install a pump from a surface water supply (eg. river or lake), with the volume controlled by the licence requirements.

Water is important for crops, animals and humans. The quality is important for all there users and therefore having an water purity and quality assessment is recommended. In remote districts, water conservation techniques are crucial - such as techniques of water harvesting, selection of dryland species.

Fencing is to be placed to maximise land use, assist ease of access through the property, mark off damaged areas (eg. unstable ground, erosion prone soil) and restrict animal grazing.
Priority planning on the farm refers to identifying those items on the farm which need to be done first and foremost before other tasks are taken care of. Example, this may mean to finish the fencing on the deer farm before the shed extension is started. In another situation it may be as simple as fixing up the house so that you can safely live in it before you can tackle other farm buildings.

Money is one of the biggest burdens for the farmer. With the owner looking at alternative and new farming practices, he/she must identify financial limitations they are presently subjected to. Once identified, they can then plan for a future with the new enterprise fully aware of financial constraints., These constraints may slow down the full farm operation, however it is a safe management strategy for the farmer to follow - take one step at a time, do not jump in head first.

There are many opportunities for qualified farm workers. The farming landscape is changing rapidly and farmers now need a solid education, along with farm experience, in order to compete and be successful in this competitive field.  A course such as this can give you a sound start in this industry or give you a qualification - if you have experience but can't back it up with a qualification.

Graduate Opportunities

Graduates may move into any of a wide range of things, including:

  • Farm Worker or Manager

  • Farm Owner (small or large)

  • Agricultural Services or Supplies

  • Agricultural or Produce Marketing Consulting

  • Teaching

  • Media

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Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert. For several years, Cheryl managed the distance
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