Funding Connects Students to Agribusiness

New funding for Alberta’s Green Certificate Program (GCP) is providing more opportunities for students to explore potential careers in agribusiness.

Education Minister David Eggen, Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier and students at the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre in Edmonton.

Education will partner with Agriculture and Forestry and invest up to $400,000 annually to cover the course fees for students enrolled in a range of GCP offerings, including:

  • beekeeper production technician
  • cow-calf beef production technician
  • dairy production technician
  • equine technician
  • feedlot beef production technician
  • field crop production technician
  • greenhouse technician
  • irrigated field crop production technician
  • sheep production technician
  • swine production technician

The program has been well received by the agriculture industry. However, schools have identified that the single largest barrier to participation in the GCP is the course fees.

“Our government is committed to protecting and improving education and preparing students for their futures. The Green Certificate Program is designed to connect students with our agricultural industry, and I am pleased to provide funding that ensures students no longer have to pay fees to access this outstanding program.”

David Eggen, Minister of Education

“Covering the fees for the Green Certificate Program will give more students access to specialized education. We are committed to supporting families by alleviating costs and improving growth in rural programs and the agricultural industry.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“We are pleased to see support for programs that reflect the needs and interests of students, particularly in rural areas. This will help boards continue to provide valuable educational choices in the communities that they serve.”

Mary Martin, president, Alberta School Boards Association

“The Green Certificate Program provides more choices for students to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge they need for the real world. Through the program, we are able to attract more students to the agriculture industry and foster employability skills that support the development of a skilled and educated workforce.”

Martin Zuidoff, board chair, Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association

Quick facts

  • The GCP was developed by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in 1975 as a way to address labour market needs for Alberta’s agriculture sector.
  • On average, 750 students participate in the GCP each year.
  • Like the Registered Apprenticeship Program, each of the Green Certificate specializations provides students with access to the first level of an agricultural-like apprenticeship.
  • The GCP provides students with opportunities to enter a variety of agriculture-related, structured learning pathways as a part of their senior high school program and to earn a credential leading to a career in agribusiness.
  • Students learn on the job, under the direction of experienced farm personnel and under the supervision of teachers.