Manitoba's Assiniboine College hopes new tuition-free agriculture course plants seeds of Indigenous employment

·2 min read

The Assiniboine Community College (ACC) says a new and tuition-free course will be offered to off-reserve First Nations residents, and they hope the program helps more Indigenous people to find employment, while also getting more workers involved in the agriculture industry.

ACC, a Brandon-based college, announced on Friday they were launching a new Agriculture Equipment Operator program, thanks to a partnership between them and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP).

According to ACC, the 14-week program, which will be funded by CAP, will begin in February at the college’s North Hill campus in Brandon, and is open to Indigenous people living off-reserve.

The college added they believe the program will be valuable because there is currently a need in the province for more Ag equipment operators.

“This partnership is an important step in helping to meet an industry need and in providing learners, who may otherwise not have had the opportunity with a chance to enroll in a program that offers a gateway to great job potential,” ACC School of Trades Dean Kevin Poirier said in a Friday press release.

“I’m pleased to welcome the support of CAP to help ensure that there are trained people who can step into areas of need, so that the growing agricultural sector can reach its full potential.”

In Friday’s press release the announcement of the program was applauded by Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) president Bill Campbell, and KAP said they worked with ACC to help create curriculum and ideas for the course.

“Producers across Manitoba are facing serious labour challenges, and struggle to hire employees with the necessary skills to work on a farm,” Campbell said. “The program will train participants with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.

“KAP was pleased to help develop the program, and provide industry input to align the curriculum with agricultural labour needs.”

More information about the course can be found by visiting

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun

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