Farm Technician refresher training will run April 11 to May 16, 2022
Registration closes Wednesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. 

Refresher Training

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is working in partnership with the Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University to develop and offer a free program to prepare eligible candidates to challenge the certification exam for the Farm Technician trade. This program will allow farmers who have significant experience in the trade (trade qualifiers) to review the content of the Occupational Standard in preparation to challenge the certification exam. The 5-week refresher course, which will run from April 11 – May 16, is offered online, and is self-paced for a total of 90 hours. Participants can choose which units to study or complete over the course of the entire 90 hours. They will have access to an instructor via email for any questions or concerns along the way. Registration closes Wednesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. 

Farm Technician Trade Definition

Farm technician trade means the occupation of a farm technician, consisting of any and all of the following:

  • demonstrating agricultural production skills, technical skills, leadership skills and regulatory awareness,
  • safely operating, maintaining, and adjusting equipment,
  • maintaining properties such as buildings, farm grounds and storage facilities using safe work practices,
  • caring for and feeding livestock,
  • engaging in soil and nutrient management, crop management and integrated pest management, 
  • packing, grading, storing and shipping farm products, 
  • using a variety of farm equipment such as tractors, forklifts, skid steers, loaders, implements and precision agriculture systems,
  • using and maintaining shop equipment and supplies, including various hand and power tools,
  • using various types of technology including computers, robots, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and mobile devices to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the farm operation,
  • using any livestock or crop specific equipment that is directly related to the primary tasks of a farm technician.

What is a Trade Qualifier?

A trade qualifier, an individual who has 5400 hours or more of work experience in the Farm Technician trade, can challenge the certification exam. The trade qualifier fee of $740 will be waived until November 2023. There is an exam fee of $148.18 to be paid each time the exam is challenged.

Marjorie Davison, CEO of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency encourages farmers to take advantage of the program and pave the way for apprentices to enroll and participate in the training program currently under development. “An employer who wants to register an apprentice will need to be certified or have in their workforce an employee who is certified who can supervise the apprentice,” she said. “Offering a free refresher course and temporarily waiving the trade qualifier fee will help those who are significantly experienced in the trade to become a certified journeyperson. Then they can then supervise apprentices and pass on their knowledge and skills.”

Trade certification and apprenticeship training in the Farm Technician trade is part of the Agency’s response to an industry request for designation. Apprentices in the trade will need to complete two levels of technical training, including 3600 practical, on-the-job hours and have their skills signed-off by a certified journeyperson. Once these requirements are met, apprentices can then challenge the certification exam.

For more information or to enroll in the Farm Technician refresher course or certification exam, contact Michelle Dolliver, Industry Training Consultant: