In preparation to one day manage the vast farming empire built by his father Prince Charles, Prince William is embarking on a 10-week course to study agriculture management. 

The 31-year-old Duke of Cambridge, who ended his full-time military career in September after more than seven years of service, will undertake his studies at the University of Cambridge. The custom program, designed by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, will provide The Duke "with an understanding of contemporary issues affecting agricultural business and rural communities in the United Kingdom."

Needless to say, this 10-week course is likely only the beginning for William's education in sustainable farming. Should his father one day become King, William will inherit and takeover management of the Duchy of Cornwall. The massive estate boasts over 133,658 acres of land and rents out farm land to over 3,500 farms. Valued at over $1.2 billion, the estate last year brought in a record $31M. 

‘Like his father, the Duke is very much a countryman, he enjoys and is passionate about the countryside and its people," a Palace aide told the UK Daily Mail. "He will continue to take an interest in and champion rural communities but this course will also, of course, be useful to him in future years."

Beyond agriculture, William last year also stated an intention to continue focusing on conservation issues - in particular the devastating loss of rhinos and elephants in Africa. When shown photos of rhinos killed by poachers during an interview with CNN last year, the Prince teared up over the images

"It's horrifying. It's hard to put into words, the depth of sadness that I would feel if they became extinct," he says. "It's just so powerful. You'd think something that big and that's been around so long, would have worked out a way to avoid being caught and persecuted, but they really don't. I do feel anger, but I also feel really great hope that we will overcome this as a human race."

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Back to school: Prince William to study agriculture
Duke of Cambridge will take 10-week course focused on agriculture management in the UK.