AgScape, Ontario’s branch of Agriculture in the Classroom-Canada, is hoping other farmers will be like Jim McMillan and consider its organization when it comes to their next charitable donation.
Launched this week is this Fill the Shoes of Tomorrow’s Agriculture Leaders campaign aimed to raise money for the development and delivery of hands-on programs to help kids learn about the agriculture and food sector. Its other aim is to encourage them to pursue careers in agriculture.
McMillan calls himself fortunate by having a cash crop and market garden that he operates with his son in Wainfleet, Ont. His son Ian will take over the farm once he retires, unlike many where that option isn’t there or their children don’t want to run the business.
“Other producers aren’t so lucky, and I wonder who is going to carry on the business of providing safe and nutritious food for generations to come,” he says, which is why he’s been a long time supporter of the AgScape program.
We need to get the word out to all students about the opportunities available to them in all aspects agriculture. AgScape is doing the groundwork to spread agriculture and food literacy in classrooms to help ensure a sustainable and prosperous industry but they need support to reach more students.”
“With Ontario’s agriculture industry on track to having more than 40,000 vacant jobs by 2025, this begs the question of who will fill the shoes of today’s farmers, food scientists, production managers and equipment mechanics? The answer depends on whether we are able to engage students about these careers that lie ahead,” says Glenna Banda, AgScape’s executive director.
Donations made will contribute to a variety of areas including:
• $1,000 will fund hands-on activity stations at a high school Career Competition.
• $250 will provide a day of objective Teacher Ambassador lessons to high school students on topics such as local food, biotechnology and careers in agriculture.
• $100 will enable one teacher to enrol in the Business of Food eLearning platform.
• $25 will provide an elementary teacher resource package to be used in the classroom.
The campaign runs until the end of the month and to find out more, click here.