Earn credits for the work you are doing in agriculture! 

The Green Certificate Agricultural Training Program provides Alberta students in grades 10 through 12 an opportunity to earn Grade 12 diploma credits while working in agriculture.  This apprentice-ship style training program has students working under the guidance of farm personnel to develop skills needed to work on a farming operation. 

Developed by Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation and offered in partnership with Alberta Education and Lethbridge College, this program provides students with high school credits and a credential that could lead to a career in agriculture or agri-business.

Download program information

How to apply

Students complete a registration form and enroll through their high school off-campus coordinator. Once the registration form has been approved and students participate in an Induction/Information meeting with the Regional GC Coordinator, they receive a manual and can begin the program.

Download program registration form

Testing

As students complete each training module (X, Y or Z) in the manual, they are required to test.  Testing is oral, with students being tested by industry experts to determine their level of knowledge, experience, and competence.

View testing dates

Sign up for 2024/25 testing dates

September 12 - Eagle Butte High School 

 

Green Certificate Training Areas

Students can complete Green Certificate Training in the following (11) areas:

Beekeeping
  • employability and safety skills
  • handling bees
  • maintaining bee health
  • operating bee equipment
  • beekeeping business planning
Cow-calf, feedlot, sheep, swine or dairy
  • employability and safety skills
  • processing and handling systems
  • feeding systems and rations
  • waste management and sanitation
  • health and treatment of livestock
  • reproduction
  • management systems
Equine
  • employability and safety skills
  • production cycles
  • handling, behavior and anatomy
  • facilities and environment
  • maintain equine health
  • administer nutritional programs
  • business management practices
Field crop or irrigated crops
  • employability and safety skills
  • fertilizing and seeding
  • harvesting, handling and storing grain and forage crops
  • land preparation, field and crop care
  • operating and servicing equipment and facilities
  • management systems
Greenhouse
  • employability and safety skills
  • complete seasonal maintenance
  • understand basic botany
  • establish and maintain proper growing conditions
  • prepare to grow plants
  • seed, root and transplant propagation material
  • identify plant problems
  • maintain production quality
  • market and sell product
Poultry – Broiler, Hatching Egg, Table Egg and/or Turkey
  • employability and safety skills
  • industry structure
  • bird biology and animal welfare
  • handle birds and biosecurity
  • barn/facility systems
  • receive chicks and poults
  • raise broilers or turkeys
  • produce broiler hatching eggs or table eggs
  • prepare for ship out
  • clean and maintain facility

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions?  Find answers to the most frequently asked questions

What’s in it for me as a high school student?
  • earn up to 16 Grade 12 diploma credits per specialization completed
  • have fun learning more about agriculture in a practical, hands-on environment
  • increase your knowledge and skill level and gain valuable work experience
  • reach further educational goals; many post-secondary agricultural institutions and scholarship programs look favourably upon Green Certificate involvement
  • explore career options in the agriculture industry
  • earn recognition for what you can already do on the farm
  • learn more about crops or animals, agriculture, machinery and farming operations
  • include the experience and training on your resume and add the certificate of completion to your portfolio
Do I really get a “Green Certificate”? 

Yes. You’ll receive a certificate, along with your completed skill profile sheet. Put the certificate on the wall, show it to future employers or keep in your portfolio. 

What prerequisite courses need to be completed?

Trainees will need to complete the Alberta Education prerequisite AGR 3000 safety course. Trainees will receive 1 high school credit upon successful completion. Trainees will work with their school coordinator to enroll in this course.

Who can be a trainer?

A parent, your employer, 4H leader, veterinarian, or coach can act as a trainer. Trainees can use multiple trainers to complete the program.  Each trainer must print their name and sign their initials on the Record of Competence page.

If you don’t live or work on a farm, you can contact your high school coordinator for assistance with finding a trainer and training site.

What experience does a trainer have to have to be eligible to train a student?

A trainer must be an experienced producer that is comfortable and capable of passing on the knowledge outlined in a curriculum book to the student. A trainer must also know his/her limitations and be able to ask another farmer for assistance if need be. The training site must be a safe and viable farming operation.

Can I have more than one trainer?

Yes. You can use as many trainers as necessary to complete the program. Each trainer must print their name and sign their initials on the skill profile page.

How am I tested?

Testing dates and locations vary per region.  A yearly test schedule will be available from your school coordinator or Regional coordinator.

Each specialty requires a trainee to successfully complete three tests to receive their certificate.

Tests are oral and practical.  Students sit with an industry professional to evaluate their level of knowledge, experience and understanding of the skills in a single section (X, Y or Z).  Trainees will have to be able to describe and talk about the information in the manual, share their learning experiences, as well as use props provided at the test site to show or demonstrate a skill to a tester.

It’s important to bring your book with all of the necessary skills signed off when you come for testing. You will be sent home if you don’t have all the necessary items. No exceptions.

A student can complete all 3 tests (courses) in 1 year or over their 3 years of high school.  Note, Trainees must test at least once within 12 months of registering for the program.

Where is testing done?

The majority of testing is done on the college campus that hosts the Green Certificate program in your region. For southern Alberta, that’s Lethbridge College. Additional test locations are used. Check the schedule to confirm dates and locations.

Who is eligible to be a tester?

Testers are experienced farmers and, in some cases, former Green Certificate trainers. Testers are hired for their experience and ability to work with students. We have training available for new testers; contact your regional coordinator for more information.

Can I do more than one test each time?

If it is a students first time testing, they are only permitted to complete one test.  After a student has completed their first test, they can book two tests if you and your trainer feel you’re ready. The trainee must let the regional coordinator know ahead of time so that they can be scheduled for two tests.

What happens if a trainee receives an 'incomplete' on a test?

You’ll receive feedback from the tester as to where you need more work and where to get more information. You can return at the next round of testing and redo the test without academic penalty.

Can I study more than one area (i.e. cow/calf technician and field crop technician) at once?

We strongly discourage a trainee from doing more than one area at a time. Each area has a large amount of material to cover and should be concentrated on.

Does a trainee have to do the book in alphabetic order?

No. A trainee can start with any letter that they wish. A trainee and trainer should look at what is required in the curriculum book and work it into the annual cycle of their farm.

Does a trainee get paid while they are participating in the Green Certificate program?

A trainee can be paid or unpaid for their work while on the Green Certificate program. It is up to the trainer and trainee to determine if they are getting paid.

Is the trainee covered by WCB while they are on the Green Certificate Program?

Yes. A trainee is covered by WCB. If a trainee is hurt, they should first seek medical attention. A student trainee should then contact their school’s coordinator and inform them of the injury. The school will give them the appropriate forms.

Is the trainer covered by WCB while training the student?

No. The trainer is not covered by WCB – only the trainee is covered.

Where do trainees usually have difficulty with the Green Certificate program?

Trainees usually have the most difficulty when it comes to traceability, diseases and medications, anatomy and physiology (livestock specialties), breeds, colours & markings, vital signs (equine specialty), soil test, insects and weeds (crop specialties).  

Reviewing the manual is a must.  This is where test questions are generated, and trainees will find it difficult to answer if they have not reviewed and studied the skills and information included in the manual.