Francophone ag education in E. Ont. under new management

(UoGuelph.ca/Alfred)

An established francophone college has been named to co-ordinate delivery of French-language agricultural education programs in eastern Ontario.

The province on Thursday announced Ottawa-based Collège La Cité will take on that role — and take the lead in delivering several such programs this fall at Campus d’Alfred (UGCA), which, for now, is a francophone campus of the University of Guelph.

The University of Guelph announced last March it will consolidate all its agricultural academic and research operations at its Guelph and Ridgetown campuses by the end of 2015 and halt programs at its Kemptville and Alfred campuses.

La Cité has agreed to offer the agriculture technician program and the nutrition and food services management program at Alfred in the 2015-16 school year, the province said.

La Cité is also to “collaborate” with Sudbury-based Collège Boréal on delivery of the veterinary technician diploma program at Alfred in 2015-16.

Collège Boréal has already run UGCA’s veterinary technician program for the past 15 years, granting about 300 diplomas to students there, Boréal president Pierre Riopel said in the province’s release Thursday.

With this announcement, La Cité is committed to the intake of both new and returning students at Alfred for 2015-16, the college said in a separate release.

“Willingness”

La Cité said it will also work with provincial and post-secondary partners to start a new institute, l’Institut de formation et de recherche rurale et agroalimentaire (Institute for rural and agrifood training and research).

La Cité president Lise Bourgeois said the college is thus making “a long-term commitment to agricultural education and quality French-language post-secondary education in eastern Ontario.”

However, she said in the province’s release Thursday, “the future of training program delivery in rural and agrifoods research and development in eastern Ontario hinges on a willingness and desire by partners to come together and find a sustainable solution.”

With provincial help, she said, the college will “work with the community to further enhance and diversify program offerings and delivery, research projects, on the job training opportunities, and distance learning options.”

Madeleine Meilleur, the provincial minister for francophone affairs, on Thursday hailed La Cité as a “Franco-Ontarian institution that has a deep understanding of the francophone community and is well equipped to provide the delivery of quality agricultural education.”

“Supporting agricultural learning and training in both English and French is a priority for our government,” provincial Ag Minister Jeff Leal said in the same release.

“We continue to work with our partners to ensure that both Kemptville and Alfred campuses remain an important part of culture and tradition of agriculture in eastern Ontario, as well as an economic pillar for the local communities.” — AGCanada.com Network

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