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More dairy farmers wanted

By Randy Thoms Aug 9, 2023 | 1:20 PM

Julia Rubinic / CC

Ontario is looking to train more dairy farmers.

It is funding an apprenticeship program through the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus.

Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Minister, Monte McNaughton, says it offers a distant education component.

“This new program will offer a distance education option that will allow some in-class training to be done virtually, helping more students who aren’t able to be in person full time or are already working on farms around Ontario access to the skills and training they need to land good jobs,” says McNaughton.

Students will still be required to complete 480 hours of classroom training.

They will also complete 5520 hours of on-farm training as part of a paid work placement.

University Director Bret Shepherd says the ability to expand the program allows them to bring it to other parts of the province.

“Expanding the reach of our Dairy Herdsperson Apprenticeship Program is an important step forward to train the future generation of dairy farmers and to make sure that dairy farms across Ontario have the talent that they need for generations to come,” says Shepherd.

The province notes 3,700 jobs in the agricultural industry are going unfilled every single day, which can contribute directly to the rising food costs.



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