Altario Agriculture Academy

It began with a garden, and blossomed into so much more!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”

Field crop test plots and barn

The Altario Agriculture Academy began as a modest plan to create a school and community garden in an effort to celebrate the area's strong and successful agricultural heritage. In the fall of 2016, the old outdoor skating skating rink was transformed into a community/school garden, and 150 tulip bulbs were planted. A few months later, students, staff and many community members met to re-imagine Altario. Out of that meeting came the recurring theme of the importance of celebrating the agricultural heritage of the area and ensuring students had the opportunity to understand the incredible importance of agriculture as a rewarding career choice.

Since that time, and operating as a student led farm, the opportunities available to Academy students have increased considerably with the addition of a specially designed barn, various livestock, partnerships with research and local organizations. Recently, the operation was further expanded with a small retail arm selling farm products and other items made by the students themselves.

Building on its strong and successful agricultural heritage, the Altario school community developed a unique program to further foster the understanding of agriculture and its essential role for all humanity. In addition to completing the standard Alberta Curriculum, students actively participate in running the school farm and its retail arm by assuming various leadership roles and overseeing production. Students are provided with numerous opportunities to actively explore and gain an understanding of not only the diversity of agriculture, but also its significance.

With academics taking priority, Academy students complete the regular core courses needed for a high school diploma in the morning each day. Afternoon classes are strictly agricultural focused as students take part in school farm operations, daily work routines, off site visits, speakers, and other learning activities.

In addition to the regular high school academic courses, Academy students can obtain high school credits in the following :

Semester 1 (10+ credits)

  • AGR 3000-Agriculture Safety

  • HCS 2020-First Aid

  • MAM 1010-Marketing and Management

  • AGR 1010-Intro to Agriculture

  • AGR 1040- Animal Basics

  • AGR 1090-Agriculture Project

  • CON 1010-Tools and Materials

  • CON 1070-Building Construction

  • FOD 1010-Food Basics

  • FOD 1070-Farm to Table

  • AGR 2010-Diversity in Agriculture(Tours)

  • Work Experience (Practicum credits)

**Optional Green Certificate training and testing

Semester 2 (10+ credits)

  • AGR 3000-Agriculture Safety

  • AGR 2010-Diversity in Agriculture(Tours)

  • AGR 2020- Animal Husbandry/Welfare

  • AGR 2040-Livestock/Poultry

  • AGR 2050-Agrifoods

  • AGR 1055-Gardening

  • AGR 1050-Plant Propagation

  • AGR 2030-Field Crops

  • FOD 2100-Meat Cooking

  • AGR 1090-Agriculture Project

  • AGR 1100-Agriculture Technology

  • Work Experience (Practicum credits)

**Optional Green Certificate training and testing

Throughout the school year students will also take part in

  • On farm work experience with local producers

  • Construction shop projects (shelters/chicken coops/feeders/feed storage solutions)

  • Agriculture focused webinars from Industry Experts

  • Tours of local farms and facilities (Lakeland College, Olds College, University ofAlberta, auction market, Vet Clinic, Feedlots, Seed Cleaning Plant, Fertilizer Plant, Grain Elevator, Butcher Shop, Local Farmers Market, Greenhouse, Crops, Dairy Barn, Poultry Barn, Beekeeping, Organic Operation, Equipment Dealership, Agriculture Loan Lender, Feed Mill)

  • A career project exploring various agriculture related careers (guest speakers and workplace tours)

  • Attend local farms and ranches to obtain first hand knowledge of routine practices on a large scale (brandings, routine cattle herd health processes, cattle feeding/rations, bull sales)

  • Green Certificate Training and Testing

  • Marketing farm products from the Academy's Student Led Farm

  • Food Preparation Courses