Outstanding In The Field


Long before oil and gas lead Alberta’s economy, Medicine Hat was an agricultural and farming hub. Even in a pandemic world, agriculture and farming is proving to be stronger than ever and is predestined to lead the economic recovery in the region.  

Recognizing how critical of a role our region could play in the growing agri-foods industry, Medicine Hat College (MHC) is gearing up to launch its first agriculture diploma certification for a Agroecology Technician.

“The program will provide students with the competencies for producing food, forage, fiber, and fuel using sustainable methods,” says program coordinator, Brent Smith. “Learners will gain real-world experience designing, monitoring and assessing sustainable agroecological systems.” 

Prior to Smith’s arrival at MHC, Smith spent 20 years working for the federal government analyzing the sustainability of government operations where much of his job focused on ecological impact.  

“A big takeaway from this role is that it’s not enough to just look at one aspect of sustainability, everything is connected,” says Smith. “Sustainability is more than the environment, it encompasses social and employment facets for the local economy as well.” 

The two-year program hopes to attract new partnerships, agreements and employment, to enhance the profile of agriculture in Medicine Hat. Smith recognizes the challenges we are facing in a global pandemic and wants to showcase the region’s contributions and vigorous role in food production and processing.

When asked where Smith envisioned the Alberta agriculture industry in 20 years, he responded by acknowledging that there are a number of converging crisis such as climate change and food security, but that there is no better time or place to be than in the southeast Alberta region to be part of the agricultural movement.

“There are meaningful and lucrative opportunities right here in our own backyard,” says Smith. “Our government is highly invested in creating growth, diversification and sustainability of Alberta’s industry. Graduates will be well-equipped with the entrepreneurial knowledge needed to start a business in sustainable agriculture and support the demand for food in the global economy.”

The Agroecology Technician program will launch September 2021. Interested applicants can apply online at mhc.ab.ca starting on November 1, 2020.



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