Certificate in Alternative Farming -study by distance Education
- Learn to manage a farm
- Explore options for Sustainable and alternative agricultural enterprises.
To obtain the certificate you must successfully complete assignments and pass exams in six modules as follows:
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Organic Farming
Choose any four relevant modules (see those listed as a guide)
Duration: 600 hours
Core Module Lessons
Sustainable Agriculture There are 7 lessons in this course:
- Land care:
- Financial Sustainability
- Broad Management Strategies
- Enterprise Selection & Management: Plants
- Enterprise Selection & Management: Animals
Organic Farming There are 10 lessons in this course:
- Introduction to Organic Farming
- Integrated Farm Management Systems
- Organic Management Issues
- Organic Soil Management and Crop Nutrition
- Weed Management
- Pest and Disease Management
- Livestock Management I
- Livestock Management II
Note that each module in the CERTIFICATE IN ALTERNATIVE FARMING VSS003 is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Make Farming more Sustainable
Sustainability is a useful concept for farmers, but more importantly it is a necessity for the future our planet. The world relies on the activities of farmers to supply it with food. Whilst satisfying these needs, the processes of agriculture can adversely impact on the land, soil, water-ways and eco-systems and place an enormous strain on the world’s natural resources.
Today the pressure is on for more and more farmers to work towards sustainable systems of farming which produce healthy, nutritious, affordable food and a dependable, secure food supply -without producing a negative impact on the environment. Sustainable farms should protect the environment, preserve open spaces, forests and wildlife and also encourage and conserve biodiversity, plus provide the farmer and farm workers with a good living.
Sustainable farming is aimed at those who want to help the world move towards the preservation of our natural resources and to maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems.
Economic, commercial, marketing and production techniques are explored in a multi-facetted way to help move a farm towards improved sustainability.
Sustainable agricultural practices must not impact negatively and should encourage:
- The investigation of how farming practices impacts on and shapes the future of the environment
- Farming practices that suit the local environment and reduce the impact on it
- Examination of the best use of natural resources; the use of water in production; preservation of soil quality; responsible use of chemicals and fertilizers; reducing the potential for salinity and pollution of waterways.
- The conservation of biodiversity
- Long term improvements in productivity
- Social improvement, through sustainable practices (both monetary and non- monetary)
- Flexibility and risk management (in fluctuating markets and climate variations)
ACS aims to provide the student interested in pursuing Sustainable Agriculture as a career, with fundamental knowledge required to be successful in this field.
THE ACS TEAM APPROACH
ACS was founded by John Mason in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School.
Right from these very early times, we've always believed that the best education only comes when the student is learning from the experience of a whole range of industry experts (rather than just a single teacher).
Every ACS course is a work in progress, continually evolving, with new information being added and old information being updated by our team of internationally renowned professional horticulturists.
Over the decades more than 100 horticulture experts from across the world have contributed to these courses, bringing their individual knowledge and experiences from as wide afield as England and Spain to Australia and America.
While may colleges and universities focus on providing courses that relate only to the country where they are based, ACS has always strived to make it's courses relevant to all parts of the world; any climate, economic or cultural situation. This has been achieved by involving a large number of professionals in the course development.
When it comes to tutoring, marking papers and mentoring students, the team approach is just as strong as with our writing. ACS students have the ability to obtain advice and support from staff across the world, with horticulture tutors located in the UK, Australia (both the north and south) and New Zealand.
The ACS team approach and global focus to both course content and student support, ensures our graduates have a unique and "real world" skills set. This unique approach is highly regarded by our colleagues in horticulture.
Contributors to ACS Courses over the years have included:
John Mason -former parks director (Melton, Essendon and Heidelberg), Landscape Designer (Playgrounds and recreation Association of Victoria), Nurseryman, President Australian Institute of Horticulture (Victoria), Committee International Year of the Child (Australia), Author ove over 40 books, Editor Garden Guide Magazine, Editor Your Backyard Magazine.
Maggi Brown - Education officer, Henry Doubleday Research Association (UK), gold medal winner Chelsea Flower Show, Garden consultant.
Adriana Fraser - Horticultural Consultant, TAFE Lecturer, Project Manager - Parks and Gardens, Horticultural writer.
Iain Harrison -Garden Manager Fibremakers, Garden Consultant, Lecturer Swinburn TAFE
Katie Freeth - Manager Commonwealth War Graves (France), Horticultural Consultant (France & UK), Board member Institute of Horticulture, and International Federation Parks & Recreation Administration
Tony Bundock -Horticulture Businessman, Consultant, Head of Horticulture Dept. TAFE
Jim Davis -Horticulture Businessman, Lecturer TAFE (NSW), Principal VCAH Burnley College
Dr Lyn Morgan -author and internationally renowned hydroponics consultant (New Zealand)
Dr Valeria Astorga -horticultural consultant, lecturer (Spain, Peru, Australia)
Alison Bundock -Editor (Kangaroo Press; Southern Cross University), Technical Writer (APM), Consultant
Rosemary Davies -Horticultural concultant, journalist, media personality (Victoria)