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Distance Learning Classes in Agriculture

written by: Sonal Panse•edited by: Noreen Gunnell•updated: 5/31/2010

Agriculture distance learning classes are meant for people interested in getting started in agriculture as well as those already working in agriculture. Distance learning provides a flexible education, and for this reason is becoming rapidly popular.

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    Interested in agriculture, but too busy to attend full-time courses? Well, you can take advantage of the flexibility offered by agriculture distance learning classes. Distance learning courses in agriculture provide students, both beginners as well as working farmers, with accredited training in a variety of agricultural studies like agriculture, agronomy, agribusiness, agricultural education and so on; as agriculture is as much about management as cultivation or animal husbandry, it is a good idea to supplement agricultural training with classes in business administration, business marketing and business operations.

    You can take certificate, bachelor's degree and master's degree programs in agriculture from anywhere in the world and complete them at your own pace and time. It generally takes three years to complete a bachelor's degree program, two years for a master's degree program and certificate courses are usually of much shorter durations. Educational qualifications vary depending upon the course you want to take. A high school diploma or GED is necessary for a bachelor's degree. This may not be necessary for a certificate course. An agriculture master's degree course will require a bachelor's degree.

    It is a good idea to research courses that can meet and advance your particular agricultural goals. Are you planning on taking up farming or working in agricultural research? Do you want to work in agricultural sales or other agribusiness enterprises? Do you want to teach agriculture? Take some time to consider what you want to do. Some of the topics included in agricultural courses are Urban Agriculture, Micro-Farming, Commercial Livestock Keeping, Commercial Horticulture, Agro-Enterprises, Multifunctional Farms, Urban Forestry, Soil Science, Pest Management and Irrigation Management.

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    Here are two institutes offering distance learning classes in agriculture:

    RUAF Foundation

    Distance Learning Courses on Urban Agriculture

    The RUAF Foundations offers short courses of 42 hours in urban agriculture:

    • Understanding Urban Agriculture, Fee: $456 (CDN)
    • Dimensions of Urban Agriculture, Fee: $456 (CDN)
    • Urban Agriculture Types, Fee: $474 (CAD)

    Oregon State University

    B.S. General Agriculture-Online

    You will need a background in chemistry and biology to be eligible for this course, and are required to complete 180 credits for the degree. These include 51 credits for the baccalaureate core, 3 credits for writing intensive course, 9 credits for business, law and communication, 22 credits for science, 60 credits for agricultural and the remaining for electives.

    Fees are $226 per credit for undergraduate courses, and $437 for graduate courses. Please visit the university website to check the curriculum details and for an online admission application.

    It is important to make sure that the colleges or institutes offering the agriculture distance learning classes have accreditation from the proper regional or national accrediting bodies; without this, the course will have no real value in the job market.