Agriculture boot camp provides students hands-on learning experience with industry experts

Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre (Sask DLC) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech) are providing high school students the opportunity to get practical, hands-on learning in the agriculture technology field. Through a one-day boot camp at the Sask Polytech Saskatoon campus, students will learn from Sask Polytech instructors, shadow industry experts and connect with their classmates from across the province.

“Sask DLC is committed to providing high school students access to career focused education, allowing them to study what interests them, while introducing them to future career paths,” Minister responsible for Sask DLC Jeremy Cockrill said. “The agriculture industry is important to our province and partnerships with industry and post-secondary institutions like Sask Polytech allow students to learn how they can become tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

The boot camp provides students a glimpse into the post-secondary training for key roles in our agriculture industry such as Agriculture Equipment Technicians (AET) and Parts Management Technicians (PMT).

“Agriculture is an important industry in Saskatchewan and Sask Polytech is excited to encourage more high school students to pursue an agriculture career,” Sask Polytech Agricultural Equipment Technician program head Chris Thomson said. “There are many benefits of high school students exploring trades and participating in the boot camp. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the agriculture industry and prepare for the Sask Polytech Agricultural Equipment Technician and Parts Management Technician programs.”

Students participating in the optional boot camp will earn six credit hours towards their work placement requirement in either Agricultural Equipment Technician 20, 30 or Parts Technician 30. Students in these courses complete 50 hours of online learning and 50 hours of work placement to earn an elective credit in the Practical and Applied Arts area.

The student work placements are made possible thanks to a five-year partnership between Sask DLC and the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) and the Canada Equipment Dealers Foundation (CEDF). Through the partnership, students are paired with an agriculture equipment dealership located near them, making this course accessible to students throughout the province. This partnership also supports the agriculture technology sector in their recruitment of future qualified employees to serve the industry and the province for years to come.

“Our farm and construction dealer members wholeheartedly support this program as it’s been a resounding success in creating awareness about the excellent career opportunities in our industry,” Vice President of NAEDA Larry Hertz said. “Since its inception, we’ve expanded the Agricultural Equipment Technician high school courses to include Parts Technician, with further expansion planned to include Precision Agriculture. These skilled trades are the lifeblood of our industry and the farm customers we serve. It’s imperative that students making career choices are fully aware of the opportunities to work in an industry that’s feeding the world.”

Students can choose from 13 different agriculture courses through Sask DLC, including a new Agriculture Precision Course 30 course that will be available for students starting in semester 2, which begins on February 2, 2024. Students and families interested in learning more can contact Sask DLC at 306-252-1000 or