Owens Community College unveils Urban Agriculture & Sustainability Certificate Program

Area residents with aspirations of learning how to grow, maintain, harvest, store and distribute local produce and animal products will now have the opportunity to begin their educational journey at Owens Community College as the academic institution’s Department of Science unveils a new Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate Program. Beginning Fall Semester 2011, the new academic program will be offered on the Toledo-area Campus in Perrysburg Township and at The Source Learning Center in downtown Toledo.

“Owens Community College is excited to expand our academic curriculum specific to the urban agricultural concentration area and offer this region’s first Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate Program,” said Matthew Ross, Owens Faculty Member of Urban Agriculture. “The popularity of community gardening, especially within urban areas, has grown immensely within the last few years as result of increased awareness of our food systems and the desire of local residents to grow their own produce for economic and health reasons. The new Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate Program will provide a higher educational opportunity for individuals to follow their passion and career aspirations within this growing field.”

Owens’ Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate Program will require 26 credit hours of coursework, which includes plant science, soil science, greenhouse management, urban livestock and animal husbandry, organic gardening and food systems management, harvest and post-harvest technology, and urban horticulture and sustainability, among other academic curriculum.

The new program is designed to prepare students for various employment opportunities within the agricultural industry. Students will develop strong knowledge and an array of proficiencies ranging from community gardening activities to raising livestock in an urban environment. Upon program completion, individuals will be able to apply their knowledge and skills specific to assisting with the development of community garden initiatives, agricultural entrepreneurship and community supported agriculture.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in various experiential learning laboratory projects at Toledo GROWs’ Oneida Greenhouse in Toledo.

In addition to the new Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate Program, the Department of Science offers academic programs in Landscape and Turfgrass Management and Golf Course/Athletic Field Management.

For additional information about Owens’ new Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Certificate Program, call (567) 661-7623 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7623.

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