Training Colony Staff with the Green Certificate Program

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 What is a Green Certificate | How does it work on the farm | Why use a training system | The training site | Cost | Successful training outcomes | More information

What is a Green Certificate?

Green Certificate is an apprenticeship-style learning system, which uses the farm as the learning site. This means that it can take place on the colony farm, using the training resources provided by the farm operation.

A Green Certificate is documented proof that a person is competent to perform a list of farm job skills to a set of performance standards. The farm community has set out the skills required by a farm job and also have determined the performance standards.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development operates the program in partnership with Alberta’s agriculture diploma colleges (NAIT, Lakeland College, Lethbridge College, and Olds College) and Alberta’s farming industry.

The program covers training for Technicians, Supervisors and Managers.

For technician (Level I Green Certificate) training, trainees learn at their home colony worksite under the guidance of an experienced farm operator and are not required to attend any training institution off the farm.

Training resources are brought to the farm to supplement the main learning activity, which is on the job. Additional training may be acquired through regional training days for Green Certificate trainees.

Individuals gain competence in skills in any of the following production areas:

Beekeeping, Cow-calf, Dairy, Equine, Feedlot, Field Crop, Greenhouse, Irrigated Crop, Sheep and Swine

How Can Green Certificate Work with the Colony Farm Organization?

  • The program staff will work with farm leaders, colony teachers, trainees and trainers to teach them how to train using the Green Certificate training system
  • Program staff will help participants build an actual training plan and schedule for a person’s growth & development
  • Green Certificate supports trainers and trainees through helping them access training materials such as home study and other resources
  • Green Certificate testing occurs at regional test centres administered by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Agriculture Colleges.
Why Should a Colony Use the Green Certificate Training System?
  • Training of farm staff lowers costs and improves the productivity and profitability of the farm enterprise
  • An organized approach to learning and practice will lead to improved worker health & safety
  • Green Certificate is an approved high school course with Alberta Education and registered students are eligible for up to 16 high school credits upon program completion.
  • Students are motivated to learn under this applied training system, which uses local resources
  • It’s practical and hands-on, as training occurs around the day-to-day work routines
  • A person who holds a Green Certificate is very marketable to other businesses if workers are contracted out to neighboring farming operations
  • Green Certificate can recognize prior learning and training can progress as fast as the trainers and trainees wish.
  • Individuals learn in different ways and the Green Certificate system is very accommodating of different learning styles
  • Parents and the next generation are motivated to work and learn together around the training plan
  • Apprenticeship-style training provides for meaningful and positive dialogue between the people of each generation.
What’s Needed for a Training Site?

A suitable training farm has:

  • Equipment and facilities that accomodate training on the skills listed on the certificate (see brochure for each specialty)
  • A business planning and management philosophy, which supports the development of people
What is the Cost?

For trainees using the Green Certificate for high school credit, the cost is now covered by Alberta Education.

What Makes a Successful Training Outcome?

Colonies and their managers who are committed to an organized system for the training and development of the next generation through training and learning of farm technical and management skills.

Where Can I Find More Information?

Return to Green Certificate homepage
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Raelene Mercer.
This document is maintained by Lindsay Rodriguez.
This information published to the web on May 16, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 10, 2018.