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Here we present to you 7 online courses about or related to agriculture, on the course platform Coursera.
#1: Sustainable Agricultural Land Management
This course, from the University of Florida, has an average of 4.8 stars.
Titled “Sustainable Agricultural Land Management”, it examines best management practices (BMPs) in agriculture, and the policies behind them. Each weekly unit is composed of multiple videos, most of them 20 minutes long on average, and quizzes.
Weekly units in the course include the following:
- Water Quality Issues and Regulations
- TMDLs & Nutrients
- Best Management Practices
- Soil Management
- Nutrient Management
- Water for Agriculture
- Agricultural Irrigation Management
And here’s what some reviewers have said:
“The first online course that really met my expectations and help me to understand deeper about sustainable soil management.” – Pierre P. D.
“Good course. I liked the information. However most of the information provided was for monoculture farming. The information was good enough for me and good enough to help me and I think I got what i came here for.” – Marcus M.
#2: Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management
This course is from the University of Illinois, and it also has an average 4.8 stars (based off 300+ ratings)!
Rather than focusing on BMPs like the previous course, this one mainly focuses on the impact of, and prevention of, infectious disease in animal-based food production. Some of the topics include the following:
- Animals and Sustainable Food Production
- Disease as a Barrier to Sustainability
- Animals’ Response to Infectious Disease
- Infectious Disease and the World’s Food
And here’s what some of the reviewers have said:
“7 years as a dairy farm manager with 5000 cows, I still learn a lot of new things through each lecture in this course that will help me a lot in my job.” Tue T. D.
“This course is an excellent introduction for sustainable food production and livestock health management. I did my Ph.D on animal-infecting parasites and I learned lots from this course.” – Alex A. G.
#3: Dairy Production and Management
This course, by the Pennsylvania State University, covers the basics of dairy production in farms. It’s rated 4.8 stars on average, and it’s estimated to take over 70 hours to complete, so it’s relatively thorough. It also counts with subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French.
Units include the following:
- Forage Production and Pasture Management
- Feeds, Hay and Silage Making, and Feed Processing
- Nutrition Basics, Requirements, and Feeding of Lactating Cows
- Calf and Heifer Nutrition and Feeding of Dry Cows
- Dairy Reproduction
- Farm Economics and Environment
Here’s what some of the reviewers have said:
“Very interesting course covered a number of different areas I was particularly keen on the sustainable and environmental issues. I don’t have any farm animals but it still taught me a huge amount of what is involved in getting a pint of milk to one’s doorstep.” – Johana C.
“I’ve been working on dairy farms over forty years. There’s always something to learn. Love this course. Great informational videos and reading.” – Cynthia T.
#4: Agriculture, Economics and Nature
This course is made by the University of Western Australia, and it covers topics related to agricultural methods, and “the balance between agricultural production and its environmental impacts”. Some of the modules include the following:
- Agricultural production and prices, and agriculture’s reliance on natural resources
- Resource and environmental challenges facing agriculture
- The economics of agricultural inputs
- Government policies in agriculture
And here’s what reviewers are saying:
“It’s a beautiful course! Not only did I learn more (than I estimated) about economics and agriculture, there was also a nice balance between theory and practical applications.” – Soham A.
“I have a masters in Agricultural Economics and majored in resource and environmental economics. This course just summarizes my 4-year Bsc and 2 years Masters Programme. I will recommend it to anyone who wants to begin a PhD in Agricultural Economics.” – Patrick K.
#5 Discover Best Practice Farming for a Sustainable 2050
This course is also by the University of Western Australia, and it focuses on farming practices. Topics include the following:
- Water and Soils
- Ecological Cropping
- Versatile Livestock Systems
- Conservation of Biodiversity in Agriculture
- And others
Some opinions by students:
“Different subjects related to sustainable farming are well presented highlighting many interesting aspects in general and illustrated by local examples.” – Juergen R.
“Excellent overview of sustainable practices for future farming. I recommend this course to everyone that has a general interest in farming or students doing a bachelors degree in Agriculture.” – Ndinao I.
#6 An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health
Rather than focusing only on agriculture, this course addresses the food system in general, with a focus on the U.S. It’s designed by Johns Hopkins University, and it has a rating of 4.8 stars. It also has subtitles in French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.
Weekly modules include the following:
- Food System Sustainability and Resilience
- Ecological Perspectives on Food Production
- Food Animal Production and Public Health
- Food and Farm Policy Perspectives
- Improving Food Systems: Stories from the Field
And check our full review of the course, too!
Here’s what some of the reviewers have said:
“Good, basic course for someone not familiar with the US food system. Very fact-based with easy to understand discussion of scientific and economic topics.” – Ajeeth A.
“Loved it! I recommend it to anyone new to public health, horticulture, agriculture, farming, agroecology and the like. I wish I took this course sooner. A+” – Reshama D.
“Excellent primer into the history of the U.S. Food System, the problems associated with industrial agriculture, and the efforts which are currently underway to address these problems.” – Milonee
#7 Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems: the Nexus between Water, Energy and Food
This course, by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, explores the connections between water, energy, and food, some of which heavily involve agricultural systems. Some of the modules include the following:
- Acknowledging the poor quality of existing quantitative analyses
- The challenge of food accounting
- The challenge of energy accounting
- The challenge of water accounting
- The metabolic pattern of social-ecological systems across multiple scales and dimensions
And this is what some of the reviewers think:
“Wonderful course about us and the environment! If you are a data loving philosopher this will be your dream (as it was for me)”. – Anja D.
“Really informative and thorough… would highly recommend to environmental & sustainability professionals interested in broadening their horizons and learning about the WEF nexus.” – Azra T.
And check out this post in Spanish.