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Qualification - Certificate in Small Acreage Farming (Livestock)

Course CodeVAG117
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours
Study Livestock Production for Small Properties
  • Follow your passion as a hobby farmer; or explore ways of getting the most from a small acreage.
  • Expert qualified tutors with decades of experience

The perfect course if you own or operate a small acreage property and want to run a small number of livestock for profit or pleasure! Perhaps you are considering purchasing acreage with a business idea in mind or you could find a small farming enterprise always set up for sale just ready for you to move in and take over?

Develop the skills to manage livestock confidently whilst ensuring their safety and wellbeing on smaller properties. Raising and caring for livestock, even in small numbers, is challenging and rewarding. This course is ideal for the hobby farmer or enthusiast or for those seeking a change of pace or a country life...

Study all you need to know from how to manage the farm as a business, how to ensure the practices are sustainable, how to look after the pastures, know about health care provisions and of course you will study animal husbandry - the everyday tough stuff you will need to know for caring for livestock!
Is it time for you to feel the rewards of having your own small acreage farm?!


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Small Acreage Farming (Livestock).
 Animal Biology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Pasture Management BAG212
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 14 modules.
 Farm Management BAG104
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Disease BAG219
 Beef Cattle Management BAG206
 Calf Rearing BAG207
 Dairy Cattle Management BAG205
 Fish Farming & Aquaculture BAG211
 Goat Husbandry BAG223
 Pig Husbandry BAG209
 Poultry Husbandry BAG208
 Sheep Husbandry BAG210
 Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
 Aquaponic Farming BHT319
 Organic Agriculture and Farming BAG305

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Small Acreage Farming (Livestock) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

What is Viable?

Farms do not need to be hundreds or even dozens of acres to be viable.

Viability depends more on what you are farming; how you farm, and what you are trying to achieve on a farm.

Small Acreage farms can fall into a number of categories:

  1. Hobby Farms - Where the property owner is motivated by the experience and the lifestyle; and the need to operate on a commercially viable scale is not critical
  2. Self Sufficiency Farms -Where the primary to grow produce for the families use, rather than for selling
  3. Small Farms that Contribute to Income -The farm is not the sole source of income for the farmer and their family; but it may contribute to their income
  4. Commercially Profitable Small Farms -These properties need to be sophisticated operations that are designed to make optimum use of the limited area available. Technology can offer opportunities that might not have been available on small properties in the past; and by carefully selecting what livestock to farm, it can be possible to optimise productivity per acre. Further value can be added by processing what is grown on the property; so that a higher return can be achieved (eg. Instead of selling milk from dairy goats; you might make gourmet cheese from the milk and sell the cheese).

A lot can be produced on as little as a couple of acres. Commercial poultry or fish farms, for instance, can be sufficiently productive on 2 or 3 acres to generate an income that supports an entire family.

More intensive farming on smaller acreages may however require more sophisticated and intensive farming practices.

Keep the Property in Good Condition

First there was subsistence farming. Then there was a technological revolution: developments in machinery and chemicals allowed us to clear and cultivate land faster, feed plants and animals quicker (and grow them faster); and kill pests or diseases quickly. These newfound abilities seemed like a godsend to mankind; and throughout the 20th century we used them to their fullest, generally with little regard to any unforeseen repercussions.

Gradually, time has revealed a variety of problems caused by this modern agricultural development; including; chemical residues affecting plant and animal life on land and in the sea, soil degradation in the form of soil structural decline, erosion, salinity, soil acidification, loss of fertility, nutrient loading of waterways, dams and lakes and more.

As we move into the 21st century and concern about our environment grows, there is an obvious move towards more sustainable farming.

Sustainable farming is in essence concerned with anything that affects the sustainability of a farm. You cannot keep farming a property indefinitely if there is a degradation of resources (environmental resources, financial resources, equipment, machinery, materials, or any other resources). In the short to medium term, the problem of sustainability is overwhelmingly a financial one; but in the long term, environmental sustainability will have perhaps more impact upon the whole industry than anything else.

Meet some of our academics

Alison PearceUniversity Lecturer, Quality Assurance Manager, Writer and Research Technician. Alison originally graduated with an honors degree in science from university and beyond that has completed post graduate qualifications in education and eco-tourism. She has managed veterinary operating theatre, responsible for animal anesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures.
Dr. Lynette MorganBroad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Cheryl McLardySports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Cheryl has a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.

Check out our eBooks

PoultryPoultry are entertaining as pets and life sustaining as a commercial product! Whether you are seeking a book as a beginner poultry keeper or if you are embarking on a new career in poultry production or management, this book is for you. Easy to read, easy to understand and packed with easy to implement practical advice. Know how to care for the health and wellbeing of poultry and make production a commercially viable enterprise.
Preserving Meat and FishThe Preserving Meat and Fish ebook is a guide for everything that you need to know about preserving your own meat and fish.
Fish for Freshwater Aquaculture and AquaponicsChoosing the most suitable fish for any fish farm or aquaponics system is a very important decision. There are a great many aspects to consider and this eBook provides a great overview of the considerations to making such decisions. Suitable for both amateurs and professionals and for large or small scale operations this is an essential resource.