The Certified Organic Farm Technician certificate, composed of classroom-based and hands-on learning opportunities, is based on a learner-centered, participatory, discovery approach to gaining knowledge and skills in organic farming. We expect to stimulate and engage the curiosity of high school-post-secondary students to explore and learn more about the principles and methods of organic agriculture to pursue technical careers in this industry.
The coursework facilitates development of key professional behaviors and thoughtful thinking abilities along with the knowledge and skills for technical agriculture workers with emphasis on organic production and regulation.
Similarly, periodic high school and post-secondary course assignments will develop personal responsibility and time management skills for planning, completion, and submission of student work units.
Courses beyond a typical lecture approach and/or learning by doing exercises that provide learners with experiential learning facilitate critical thinking. Thus, the curriculum will serve as a bridge between technical education and the workplace culture using creative and critical thinking, time management, conflict resolution, etc.
The courses in the Certified Organic Farm Technician certificate are designed to develop students’ higher cognitive and technical skills, (i.e., knowing, understanding, and applying) so they can gain the most benefit from them. Students will do more than sit, listen, and take notes. They will be able to use any assigned readings, suggested resources and outside materials, and using the case study method, work with teachers, farmers and peers to solve problems related to key topics in organic farming experiences.
To achieve the comprehension and mastery of the subject matter, the curricula material is designed to allow students to reflect on and apply what they have learned. Thus, the coursework includes applied science and food system principles. Tools students will use to address or solve common sustainable organic agriculture predicaments and problems.
Dr. Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian, Executive Director, CEO, Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc., Gainesville, Florida