Ontario Private Member's Motion Calls for More Ag Education at High School Level

How do you sell an industry full of potential? If you’re hoping to influence career choices, you have to be top of mind when high school students are contemplating opportunities.

That’s the motivation behind Ontario’s Lisa Thompson’s private member’s motion, Growing Agri-food Jobs, first read at Queen’s Park in November, and introduced this week.

Thompson, who represents the Huron-Bruce riding in Ontario, says that although agriculture and food is of vital economic importance to the province, the agri-food industry continues to have a low profile in the job market.

Did you know? Ontario’s agri-food industry contributes $34 billion annually to Ontario’s GDP, and provides 740,000 jobs.

“We need to ensure that when young people are identifying good career opportunities they can be confident in a bright future in the agri-food sector,” says Thompson.

Thompson’s motion states: “…the government should recognize the importance of agriculture and food literacy by ensuring that the Ministry of Education includes a mandatory component of career opportunities associated with Ontario’s Agri-food Industry in the grades 9 and 10 Guidance and Career Education Curriculum.”

Initial support for the motion has picked up following last week’s reading, and Thompson explains in the interview below what happens next and how likely it is for this motion to pass. Passing the motion is just the first step in making this happen, however, and Thompson says that she’s committed to pushing on until she sees more agri-education in Ontairo high schools.

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