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Sustainable Agriculture Certificate

Certificate Number 900901

Discover the skills, science and art of producing crops, livestock and foods using organic and sustainable principles. Create a new business, transition toward organic, become certified, join a growing field.

Certificate Completers will be able to

. Apply organic systems principles to their farm or land.
. Appraise and manage soil health.
. Practice organic animal husbandry.
. Apply organic practices to field crops and horticultural crops.
. Create a simple agricultural business plan, with marketing options.
. Evaluate alternative crops and livestock.
. Compose an on-going operation and management plan for an enterprise.
. Plan the transition of a conventional enterprise into an organic one.
. Complete forms necessary to document organic or conservation program status.
. Access financial, technical and service program resources.
. Model a balanced sustainable-organic ag system.


. Earn credentials that show your expertise to lenders, employers or customers.
. Learn how to manage a farm or test the feasibility of your product or business idea.
. Choose individual courses or the complete series, based on your needs.

Completers will be able to apply credits toward the following programs:

10-090-3, Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems


Catalog No. Description Credits

10-090-116 Organic Soils, Nutrients, Comp
10-090-106 Organic Specialty Animals
10-090-128 Managed Grazing
10-090-120 Organic Livestock Practices
10-090-113 Organic Poultry Mgmt
10-090-103 Organic Field Crops
10-090-122 Fruits, Nuts, Berries
10-090-121 Organic Gardening
10-090-134 Sustainable Ag & Food Business
10-090-135 Edible Landscape, Permaculture
10-090-111 Sustainable Ag: Issues & Pract
10-090-117 World Food & Agriculture

Certificate Total

Course Descriptions

10-090-116 Org Soils, Nutrients, Compost... Healthy soil is the foundation of sustainable farming and gardening. Build robust soil through organic matter, cultivating beneficial microorganisms, and nutrient cycling. Explore composting techniques and organic fertilizer sources.

10-090-106 Org Specialty Animals... Compare sustainable agricultural production methods for sheep, goats, hogs, and horses. Do individual research and evaluate production practices and ideas. Create a budget; determine if an enterprise is feasible.

10-090-128 Managed Grazing... examine pasture plants and livestock in a rotational grazing system. Build a fence. Evaluate watering systems, fertilizers, yields and environmental impacts. Meet experienced graziers. Create a grazing plan and budget.

10-090-120 Organic Livestock Practices...students learn how organic farmers manage livestock successfully. Principles covered include organic health care, strategies for reproduction, feeding, housing, and young stock. Review rules and organic certification standards.

10-090-113 Organic Poultry Mgmt...explore poultry for backyards or commercial enterprises. Create feed rations, housing plans, processing plans and budgets. Compare organic and conventional management.

10-090-103 Organic Field Crops... Evaluate organic practices for fertilizing, planting, weed and pest control in corn, soybeans and small grains. Create an organic transition plan, qualify for certification. Evaluate yields, markets, rotations, and cover crops.

10-090-122 Fruits, Nuts, Berries...explore practices used by sustainable, organic and conventional farmers of these crops. Discussion of what works, costs, and how one can grow a saleable product and run a viable enterprise.

10-090-121 Organic Gardening...whether gardening on a small scale or using commercial greenhouses and fields, plan seedings, control pests, diseases, and weeds, all using best organic practices. Review rules and organic certification standards.

10-090-134 Sustainable Ag & Food Business...define your goals. Research expenses and potential income for a small food-related enterprise. Outline a budget. Compare markets. Develop a brand identity. Review financial terminology. Draft a business plan.

10-090-135 Edible Landscape, an edible landscape for your homestead, no matter its size or location. Use permaculture concepts of zones, layers, energy flow, water features, perennial plants, beauty, recycling, compost, and self-sufficiency.

10-090-111 Sustainable Ag: Issues & Pract...use critical thinking skills to compare organic & sustainable agricultural practices with industrial agriculture. Explore food production issues including antibiotics, herbicides, hormones, GMOs, animal welfare, crop yields, nutrients, and pollution.

10-090-117 World Food & Agriculture...explore the climate, soils, and food of other ecosystems and cultures around the world. Examine the relationships between people and the diversity of their land, food, animals and local traditions.

For more information, please contact: or contact Enrollment Services at 888-385-NWTC.