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Sustainable Agriculture 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable Agriculture Online Course
Through our Sustainable Agriculture Online Course, you will learn techniques and measures to move your farm towards greater sustainability
Increasing sustainability can be simple (for example changing what is farmed or how produce is marketed) or require more major changes in farm management practices. Gain useful and practical knowledge to improve sustainability in this comprehensive online course.
Today the pressure is on for more and more farmers to work towards sustainable systems of farming which produce healthy, nutritious, affordable food and a dependable, secure food supply -without producing a negative impact on the environment. Sustainable farms should protect the environment, preserve open spaces, forests and wildlife and also encourage and conserve biodiversity, plus provide the farmer and farm workers with a good living.
This course is aimed at those who want to help the world move towards the preservation of our natural resources and to maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems. Economic, commercial, marketing and production techniques are explored in a multi-faceted way to help move a farm towards improved sustainability.
Lesson Structure: Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
There are 8 lessons:
- Sustainable ways of farming
- Whole farm planning
- Land Management programs
- Sustainable ways of farming
- Natural farming
- Organic farming
- No Dig techniques
- Growing media
- Major types of soil problems
- Soil structural decline
- Soil improvements
- Adding organic matter to soils
- Cultivation techniques
- Conservation tillage
- Plant nutrition
- Soil life
- Cover crops
- Types of water storage
- Livestock water requirements
- Water problems
- Water quality
- Reed beds
- Water saving measures
- Swales and Keylines
- Irrigation systems
- Land Care
- Weed Management
- Preventative measures
- Tree management
- Timber lots/plantations
- Wind breaks
- Wildlife corridors
- Wildlife habitats
- Pest and diseases
- Financial Sustainability
- Economic principles
- Developing a Farm Business Plan
- Financial plan
- Controlling growth
- Value adding
- Enterprise mix
- Broad Management Strategies
- Toward better planning
- Land care or land management
- New enterprises
- Broad management categories
- Personal welfare
- Plan drawing of farm
- Looking at risk
- Quality systems
- Plant Enterprises
- Crop management
- Hydroponic fodder
- Considering new crops
- Organic farming
- Animal Enterprises
- Wool and meat production
Learning Goals: Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
- Explain the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms.
- Explain how to avoid serious degradation of soils on a farm through sustainable management.
- Explain the broad possibilities for improving sustainability on farms.
- Explain how to avoid too serious degradation of soils on a farm through water management.
- Discuss Economic Rules that apply to a farm Enterprise.
- Crop management techniques for sustainability.
- Minimising degradation through planning and management.
- Evaluate the financial viability and potential of animal enterprises.
Practical (Set Tasks)
- Investigate what is being done for improving agricultural sustainability in your country or region.
- Contact different organisations or farmers and find out what you can about attitudes & resources available to assist with improving sustainability in your chosen area/Country/region.
- Investigate whether an organic certification scheme operates in your country, and if so, find out what is involved currently in attaining that certification for a farm.
- Obtain either literature or advice relating to the management to soil degradation in your locality.
- Identify the most important issues that farmers need to address in a region within approximately 100 km( or 50 miles )of your home; in order to remain financially viable over the next two decades
- Distinguish between hydroponics, permaculture, biodynamics and certified organic farming.
- Identify a farm situation where it might be appropriate to convert to either permaculture, biodynamics or certified organic system.
- What is being done to improve sustainability of agriculture in the region, country or state of your choice.
- Obtain information from your local government department or irrigation supply company. Find out what the local water quality is like and how it was measured.
- Explain how you can test your local water supply for contaminants. What contaminants were found? eg. Bacteria, heavy metals, silt etc.
- Outline how can these contaminants be removed from the local water supply eg filtration, chemicals, etc.
- Identify cost effective means by which contamination can be prevented.
- Identify types of water catchment in your local area. eg dams ,stream ,creeks ,etc.
- Find out what types of conservation are being practiced in your local area.
- Outline methods of pest control being practiced in your area
- Describe methods of weed control used in your area.
- Identify and describe any natural control methods being used in your area.
- Research tourism activities are available in your local area.
- Investigate planning and advisory services in your local area.
- Investigate existing animal enterprises in your local area and the economic impact.
Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Susan Stephenson and Andy Patterson . Your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout from one of these excellent teachers. Here are their credentials:
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction.
Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.
Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
Susan is a Professional Associate and exam moderator and holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
She also supervised the Area Arboriculture Team and was Exhumations Officer in charge of collecting discovered remains and arranging identification (if poss) and interment of same.
PGCE Biological Sciences; Doctor of Naturopathy (pending); Registered Nutritional Therapist; Permaculture Design Consultant (PDC); BSc(Hons) Ecology;
Andy has been a biology and science teacher since 2002, and a natural health therapist since 1998. His original degree was in Ecology and is well experienced in the Life Sciences generally, from biology, medicine and clinical sciences to horticulture, ecology and the environment. he divides his time between a therapy clinic; teaching, tutoring & lecturing. Andy is a passionate believer in the power of education to transform people’s lives, and gives 100% support to helping students achieve their goal.
Andy has worked as a Biology lecturer in a number of post age 16 colleges, and 11-18 year age schools across the country during a 13 year career. This has included work as an Assessor for exam boards, 1 on 1 tutoring, working with small groups and whole classes. He worked on an award winning national Nuffield- STEM initiative using innovative educational techniques to develop sustainability awareness with KS3 school children. He has also managed a large vocational science area in a busy college and developed a successful Premedical curriculum which has helped many students on to successful medical careers.
Excerpt From The Course
Examples of Information to be collected and analysed:
- Land contours maps. Check with your local Agriculture Department or equivalent in or near populated areas. There are often aerial photos available to provide details of roads, hills, buildings, trees, etc. These are particularly useful when in colour.
- Location of established fodder trees.
- Environmental waste management procedures. Government authorities often have a lot of written material available on waste management, as well as advisers for specific requirements. Wherever there is a suspected contaminated land area (eg. disused cattle dip) them a “waste consultant” should be engaged to investigate the potential pollution and advise on possible remedies. Such consultants are generally listed in the telephone yellow pages of the phone book.
- Land conservation reports and departments.
- Easements or other restrictions on land use. Check the title deed for easements and other restrictions (eg. power line access, easements for National Trails). Check for possible future use of the land (eg. widening of roadways, power line construction). Check all fences, including boundary fences, are in the correct position and in good condition.
Examples of decisions which might need to be made:
- How to ensure survival of stock though periods of drought or flood?
- How do I ensure that the fertility of soil does not degrade?
- How do I dispose of potentially harmful waste products? The local council or government authority will often advise where and how to dispose of these products. If there is a large quantity (eg. In Australia, if it is greater than 250 kg, (550 lb),then a licensed carrier must be used for transport of dangerous goods)
- How do I prevent erosion? Advice is available from Local, State or National Government authorities (eg. Soil conservation service or Department of Agriculture, etc.). A major method is to attempt to slow the speed and volume of water flowing over areas of concern. Grassing and contouring slopes will usually achieve these objectives
- How do I manage my farm so that it does not harm native species? The National Parks and Wildlife Service (or your countries equivalent) will advise you on this. There are also local wildlife preservation societies which can be helpful. A local veterinarian may be able to advise also.
- How do I prevent contamination of water ways by chemicals and effluent? Contamination can originate on your property or neighbouring properties (eg. local sewage plant can give elevated levels of Copper, Selenium and Zinc in down stream water. Dumping empty pesticide containers in a gully can also lead to problems down-stream).
- How will I divide the property (eg. into paddocks, what different areas will be used for, what areas will be conservation and what will be farmed, etc)
- How do I manage irrigation to minimise waste water, and leaching excess minerals from soils. Check the type of soil, especially sub soil on the property. Check particularly for acid sulphate soil.
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
What your tuition fees include
There are no hidden extras
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: email@example.com
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,