Lakeland College is going to offer Canada’s first Agriculture Technology degree.

The two-year, post-credential Bachelor of Agriculture Technology Program will be based out of the Vermilion campus, and use Lakeland’s new Agricultural Technology Centre, which will open this year as well. The 8,000 square-foot building will be a student-managed farm lab where students will work with new technologies and analyze new-data sets.

The school says the course will use emerging technology in robotics, geospatial tools, artificial intelligence and new software to eventually have students end the program specializing in either crop or livestock technology applications. They’ll also know how to create a crop or livestock management system, as well as perform data collection and analysis.

The program, Lakeland Vice President Michael Crowe notes, was developed to meet the demand of students and industry. It was created with input from more than 40 ag organizations and companies along with students interested in having the program.

The students, after completing the in-class portion of their learning, will also work with ag businesses as part of a practicum program.

These can range from future employers in a variety of fields, Lakeland says, including technology manufacturers, data analysts, farms, breeding or genomics facilities, equipment dealerships and farms, among others.

Dean of the School of Agriculture Technology and Applied Research Josie Van Lent says students graduating the program will have a unique bridge of skills in both ag-tech and production, which industry feedback has shown is needed.

The program is expected to be up and running by September of this year.