The Dairy Herdsperson Apprenticeship (DHA) program at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus will be available through virtual delivery to reach more students interested in a professional herdsperson careers.
In a partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), Ridgetown Campus will use $300,000 of government funding to develop virtual learning modules and increase program accessibility to produce highly trained graduates while addressing the labour shortage dairy farms are facing, the university says.
“As a long-standing partner, we are proud to support the University of Guelph’s commitment to the dairy industry through programs such as the Dairy Herdsperson Apprenticeship,” says Murray Sherk, Board chair at DFO. “We are thrilled to work alongside Ridgetown Campus, who will use the Skills Development Fund to virtually expand the program, reach more students and meet the needs of Ontario’s dairy producers.”
Using the funds, Ridgetown Campus will add a distance education format to the DHA, allowing a majority of the apprenticeship in-class training to be done virtually. This means more students across the province will have access to required skills and training.
“This program is a great step forward to meet what students need, especially when balancing work and school. Online learning will be combined with on-site modules offering more students the opportunity to complete the dairy apprentice training,” says Ridgetown Campus director Brett Shepherd, . “We are excited to be working with DFO on building industry expertise across the province.”
The funding comes from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development through the Skills Development Fund.