The Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture will prepare future farmers for both the business and science behind running a small profitable farm in Northern New England. This program focuses on sustainable alternatives to industrialized farming and how to be successful in the marketplace without competing with industrialized and specialized large-scale operations. Students will learn the skills necessary to market their product through farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture and restaurants as part of the local food-to-table movement. As advocates for the production of healthy, environmentally friendly food in their community, students will understand the holistic role of the agro-ecosystem and how to balance the economic, environmental and social needs of the farmer and community. Students will specialize through guided pathways based on their agricultural preference, such as greenhouse and high tunnel farming, open field farming, fruit, tree, vineyard, etc.

This program is financial aid eligible. 

Technical Standards

Students in the Sustainable Agriculture Technology certificate must have sufficient strength, stamina, motor coordination, and sensory capabilities to perform the following:

  • Standing for sustained periods of time, walking, running, bending, and sitting on the floor/ground to meet farming needs and accomplish tasks;
  • Frequent lifting, moving, and transferring of equipment, plants, and/or livestock;
  • Sufficient visual and hearing acuity to ensure a safe environment and the ability to respond quickly to clients, colleagues, and professional partners in the event of an emergency;
  • Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas, as well as to interpret important instructions to clients, colleagues, and professional partners;
  • Ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately to unexpected situations, including situations requiring immediate crisis response and role responsibility exchange, to demonstrate safe and required care for colleagues and the workplace as a whole, and to cope with substantial variations in workload and stress levels;
  • Ability to consistently attend and participate in classes and laboratories in a timely manner;
  • Ability to demonstrate and maintain organizational skills and time management in classes and at the laboratory site;
  • Ability to abide by NHTI’s Student Code of Conduct.

NHTI reserves the right to amend its technical standards at any time and impose them on all current students.

Internship Considerations

NHTI has developed excellent practicum opportunities for our students to foster hands-on learning while simultaneously receiving credit. Nonetheless, the college’s first priority must be to ensure that patients/clients/children/families are not placed in jeopardy by students during learning experiences. Therefore, students in internship, externship, practicum, service learning, and clinical experiences must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stresses, uncertainties and changing circumstances that characterize patient/client/child/family responsibilities. Furthermore, the student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty member, and establish rapport and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships and confidentiality with employees, customers, and/or patients/clients/children and their families.

Sustainable Agriculture Technology Certificate

Course NumberCourse TitleCLLABCR
ACCT 101CAccounting I303
BUS 170CPrinciples of Marketing303
AGRI 110CSustainable Agriculture I324
AGRI 112CPractical Applications for Sustainable Agriculture I (8 weeks)132
AGRI 115CPractical Applications for Sustainable Agriculture II (8 weeks)132
Choose one of the three options below*
XX xxxCBIOL 115C Introduction to Ecology (Fall only) or324
BIOL 117C Introduction to Plant Biology (Fall only) or
ENVS 101C Fundamentals of Environmental Science (Spring only)

* Students are strongly encouraged to discuss these options with their academic advisor.

CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
CR – Number of credit hours for the course

Program Outcomes

The program will provide students with the knowledge and local connections to overcome some of the barriers facing a new farmer. Students will:

  • Maintain financial records and apply for and procure loans and grants;
  • Identify niche markets and properly market materials ensuring a profitable business;
  • Gain skills through internships and apprenticeships and establish mentoring relationships with successful agribusinesses;
  • Apply the basic principles of environmental science and ecology to sustainable agriculture;
  • Read and interpret soil and water chemistry testing results;
  • Identify basic agricultural pests and diseases;
  • Select plants, order materials, plant and transplant in greenhouses, directly sow seeds and harvest plants;
  • Identify trees and use the principles of forest ecology and tree identification  to select planting sites and predict how these principals will affect soil type and chemistry;
  • Calculate the ratios of fertilizers and nutrients for application per area;
  • Prepare a portfolio with information on pests, climate, frost dates, plant types, pest resistance, planting dates, costs and potential markets needed for licensing and financial documentation.

No items found


of students qualify for financial aid