Bringing Ag Into the Classroom — Ag Literacy Week and the Challenges Faced by Farmers Around the World

Farmers and others involved in Canadian agriculture visited more than 500 classrooms across the country this past week during the fourth annual Canadian Ag Literacy Week.

Led by Agriculture in the Classroom, with support from Farm Credit Canada, the program is designed to encourage grade 3 to 6 students to learn about agriculture through reading books, watching videos and meeting people involved in agriculture.

“Teachers love this because we connect everything to the curriculum, even when we come in with a visitor reading a book Teachers can then continue the learning — we show them where the connections are in their grade level,” explains Johanne Ross, chair of Ag in the Classroom Canada and executive director for Ag in the Classroom – Manitoba in the interview below.

(photo credit: Manitoba Pork/Facebook)
(photo credit: Manitoba Pork/Facebook)

New for this year was the release of a book entitled “The Adventures of Michael and Mia: Stewards of the Land,” written by Edward Willett and illustrated by Val Lawton. The book, which was created through funding from Viterra and Growing Forward 2, aims to help students understand how farmers use modern farm practices and technology to care for the environment while producing food.

Coinciding with Ag Literacy Week was the launch of a new resource for grade 7 and 8 teachers across the country, as Ag in the Classroom – Manitoba partnered with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and Syngenta to launch a program called “Challenging Conditions.” Through this resource, students will learn what life is like for subsistence farmers in developing countries.

“Really what it’s doing is opening the students’ eyes to the fact that we have it pretty good with our situation in Canada,” says Ross. “It reiterates that importance that we in Canada are contributing to helping these farmers.”

Teachers can order “Challenging Conditions” material from Agriculture in the Classroom — Manitoba. For teachers in other provinces, the resource will soon be posted on the Canadian Foodgrains Bank website. It will also be available in French.

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