With more than 50 hours of your time spent in the labs and fields of the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (WC), you will gain a unique hands-on opportunity to become familiar with the concepts that are critical to the food and agricultural industry, all within the context of a field-to-fork philosophy. You will learn in our fields, greenhouses, hoop house and state-of-the-art food chemistry and processing labs, while planning for, planting, tending to and harvesting more than 50 different varieties of produce, berry bushes, herbs and more.
Through the development of your own value-added food products, you will have a greater knowledge and understanding of the opportunities that come with food production. Whether you are interested in a career with a food company, managing a food operation, developing your own food product or owning a greenhouse or production farm, you will gain critical skills in modern farming concepts, food processing and food preservation to position you as an industry leader.
The Food and Farming program will offer you a hands-on opportunity to become familiar with the concepts of food production.
You will focus on:
- Plant propagation
- Soil and plant nutrition
- Fruit and vegetable production under field, greenhouse, garden and container conditions
- Food product development
- Food processing including niche processing of local foods
- Food and agriculture regulations
- Food safety and microbiology
- Disease and pest management
- Business practices including product branding, entrepreneurship and marketing.
The program is offered at the college's Whitby campus, home of the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food. This incredible learning environment includes orchards, agricultural fields, greenhouses, food labs and more. Students also utilize the specialized laboratories at the college’s Oshawa campus and participate in several field trips through the year.
Please note: students will be required to purchase green tag safety boots in order to participate in many laboratory settings.
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Program Learning Outcomes
- Apply the appropriate theory and principles to the production of crops grown under mainstream and organic management systems including varietal differences for end use or storage.
- Compare and contrast soils and nutritional and watering requirements for plants and crops in field, garden and container production systems.
- Utilize and evaluate niche processing technologies and food safety practices, including HACCP, in the conversion of locally grown crop products into upscale specialty foods.
- Discern and apply relevant food safety standards including risk management and food safety plans and traceability to various aspects of food handling and processing.
- Evaluate potential entrepreneurial opportunities in value added agriculture and agri tourism by utilizing the fundamentals of business management, business plans, finance, marketing and accounting.
- Adhere to local, provincial and federal regulations and policies relating to artisan, urban and value-added agriculture.
- Integrate natural biological cycles and controls in managing plant pathogens, weeds, insect pests and parasites.
- Apply biological, chemical and food processing technology principles to solving technical problems associated with artisan agriculture and specialty food production.
- Analyze energy management and greenhouse structures in the greenhouse sector.
- Discern and apply best practices in the production of plants grown under greenhouse and indoor environments.
- Develop and communicate principles and key messages of artisan agriculture to consumers, industry representatives and the media.
- Develop an integrated farm management plan that accounts for ecological farm practices, environmental protection, biodiversity and wildlife preservation.