If there’s anyone that’s knowledgable and passionate about agriculture education, it’s Johanne Ross, of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada.

For today’s RealAg LIVE! Ross joins Kara Oosterhuis for a chat about how AITC-C started, what its goals are, and where it’s going in the future.

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!


  • Manitoba has fun town names
  • 200 head of Simmental cattle, by Minnedosa, Man.
  • Johanne has been with AITC-C for over 20 years
  • It’s the best of both worlds for her because although she has her degree in ag, she also considered teaching
  • Provincial organizations were actually in place before the national organization
  • In 2010, misconceptions on social media swirling around, AITC-C started talking about it a lot
  • Bringing a national identity to agriculture in education needed a national organization, each curriculum is up to the provinces, not the federal government
  • CALM, or Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (happening right NOW), is anything but calm, it’s an opportunity to visit classrooms (under normal circumstances) and talk to students of all ages
  • Age categories?
  • Teaching tools, experiences, or classroom demos are always linked back to a core curriculum. Agriculture isn’t actually a core curriculum
  • Canadian educator matrix tool is accessible to teachers to select a subject for a specific grade and can download information
  • Ready made lesson plans!
  • Voices, faces, authenticity; getting people from agriculture into classrooms to share stories
  • “The people are our program”
  • Volunteers can be any age. Anybody who’s interested is encouraged to reach out
  • Still work to do to the Territories and the Yukon, but it’s in progress
  • Public trust has changed. Johanne sees an appetite for information about agriculture within students. They’re more eager to have a career that has the potential to make changes
  • Being part of this conversation should no longer be a “charitable” component, it should be part of a business plan
  • Need everybody on board telling their story. Lots of difficult questions get asked in classrooms
  • Not just rural, city centres too. Reached over 2 million students across Canada last year and most of those students are in urban centres
  • The framework for agriculture education: every student at some point during their primary and secondary education, will have an agriculture experience. That’s the goal
  • Think. Know. Feel. Excited.
  • Communications literacy is really important. Critical thinking too. Confidence to speak up.

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