Thursday, 07 June 2018 06:45

Lethbridge College offers tuition credit for students enrolled in new post secondary agribusiness program

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Lethbridge College’s Agricultural Enterprise Management (AEM) program kicks off this September, and those students enrolled in full-time AEM studies in its first year will receive a one-time $1,000 tuition credit.

Students studying Agricultural Enterprise Management will encounter a mix of economics, management and science in this balanced curriculum, giving them a strong foundation in business and an overview of agriculture in Western Canada.
“We hope the tuition credit helps students get the little push they might need to take the leap into this exciting new program,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “The Agricultural Enterprise Management program was created in response to needs identified by industry partners. As an institution, we saw how beneficial this could be, not only for people currently working in industry but also for students who see the dynamic future agriculture can offer.”
The Agricultural Enterprise Management program was made possible thanks to a $5-million gift in 2014 to Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge from Cor Van Raay, a leading Canadian cattle producer. Those funds have been used to create a southern Alberta agribusiness program.
One million dollars of Van Raay’s landmark donation was allocated to support student awards at both Lethbridge post-secondary institutions. That contribution has made the $1,000 tuition credit possible for confirmed, full-time AEM students this fall.
“This should help to grow the agriculture sector in southern Alberta and position us as leaders in the industry,” says Van Raay. “There is so much potential, and with a little bit of training and education, we will be able to capitalize on the natural resources and grow as a province.”
Taking note of the significant growth potential in agriculture, Lethbridge College brought together local partners to identify which parts of the ag industry were missing from current educational opportunities and designed this program to tackle that.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer a tuition credit to students in this inclusive and relevant program that we’ve been cultivating for a few years,” says Dennis Sheppard, former Dean of the Centre for Applied Management.  “We are very proud of the program, and we can’t wait to have our new students get started this fall.”
The program will prepare students for a wide range of agriculture and agri-food careers, something Sheppard says makes good financial sense.
· The agriculture industry accounts for more than seven per cent of the nation’s GDP and represents over $110-billion dollars per year.
· There are 40 food manufacturing companies in the Lethbridge metropolitan area as of June 2017, according to Statistics Canada figures. This is up 25 per cent from 2011.
· Employment in the primary and utilities sector (which includes agriculture) is now up to 4,200, according to the Conference Board of Canada. This is up 110 per cent from 2011, when this sector employed only 2,000.    
Students will have the opportunity to earn an AEM diploma from Lethbridge College, with the option to continue to a Bachelor of Management degree program with an AEM major at the University of Lethbridge, once that program is approved. Lethbridge College’s two-year AEM diploma program received provincial approval last fall, and spots are still available for students wishing to start their studies in September 2018.
Anyone seeking information can reach out to program specialists by calling 403-320-3213, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or going online at

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