FREE ONLINE COURSE: Agriculture and the World We Live In

The transformation of agriculture in the 21st century will require, more than ever before, the exposure and education of young minds to think!

Learning in the 21st century has gone beyond the classroom. To put it more aptly, we are in the era of schools without walls. Thanks to the internet for making this a possibility. Today, there are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are offered by universities and other institutions of higher learning around the world at no cost!

For agriculture, one of such courses is Agriculture and the World We Live In. This is a free online course developed by Russ Tillman, Professor Emeritus at Massey University. Russ who has over 40 years career with Massey University granted an interview to tell us that Agriculture is exciting!

What’s it about?

You will learn about the world’s population and the crucial role of agriculture in feeding the steadily increasing number of people. You will then see how climate and soils dictate the types of farms we see in different regions and countries.
You will then “drill down” and look at individual farms around the world. We will talk about how the farmers manage these farms, and why they do what they do. We will finish off with a look at the exciting new technologies that are transforming agriculture and the sustainability issues that farmers are dealing with in the 21st century.

What’s involved?

Module 1Global Food Production
10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment 11 Aug – 17 Aug
Module 2How Farms Work
10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment 18 Aug – 24 Aug
Module 3The Business of Farming
10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment 25 Aug – 31 Aug
Module 4Agricultural Sustainability
10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment 1 Sep – 7 Sep

What will I learn?

  • The size of the world’s population and how quickly it is growing
  • Whether more people live in cities than in rural areas and why this is important
  • The quantities and types of food we produce around the world
  • How food production is becoming globalised and the implications of this for farmers and consumers
  • How climate, soils and fertilisers affect the way we farm
  • The crucial role of soil biology in our farming systems
  • How different cropping farms operate and the role of crop rotations
  • The big differences between pasture based and feedlot systems of animal production
  • Some of the issues associated with the intensive production of animals such as pigs and poultry
  • The arguments for and against organic farming and the use of genetically modified plants and animals in agriculture.
  • The vast array of businesses that are associated with agriculture
  • The new information technologies that are transforming the way we farm
  • How agriculture can have adverse effects on the environment
  • The challenges that might be posed by global climate change

This course requires approximately 2 – 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments. The total video time for this course is approximately 4 hours 11 minutes.

If you pass this course you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn’t a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Are you open to study: Agriculture and the world we live in? Enrol and start now…. It’s free!

About ‘Tunde Akinmolayan

Tunde Akinmolayan holds an M.Agric in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management from FUNAAB. He writes and runs a rabbit farm, among other engagements. He can be reached on

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