By Shayla Hertz, Agriculture Awareness Intern
My scholastic years began in a small rural school, where almost every child was connected to a farm. It didn’t take my teachers long to identify agriculture as the heartbeat of our tiny school, so they had us tracing our pioneering ancestry in social studies, to growing plants in science class, to constructing Father’s Day gifts out of different grains in art lessons.
As I grew older and moved to a different school with students from urban areas, it came to my attention that kids thought chocolate milk came from a brown cow. This thought had never crossed my mind, but it stuck with me through middle and high school. Choosing to study agriculture in university, I then frequently contemplated, “Why is there disconnect between today’s people and the food they eat?”
When a person grows up on a farm and witnesses food growing in a garden at five years old, they understand food. When everyone around them grows food, including their grandparents, aunt and uncle, parents, and neighbours, they understand what farmers do. They know where bacon comes from and have watched their mom bake bread with wheat grown on their farm. But this is only the story for a few. Others don’t grow up understanding agriculture; they grow up with questions about food and farming.
For agriculture to continue to thrive, children need to be able to connect the food they eat to where it comes from and learn about it from credible sources. Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan (AITC-SK) makes this possible. AITC-SK provides educators with quality, ready to use, curriculum-linked programs and resources to help the next generation understand agriculture and cultivate a positive perception of modern food production.
My parents may have planted the agriculture seed in my young mind, but my teachers helped it grow. My childhood schooling came from teachers who not only nurtured my connection to agriculture, but embraced the enlightening learning experiences it provided to students. Classrooms are learning havens made up of captive audiences and teachers who are exceptional influencers; this is where agriculture education needs to take place. Get involved with Agriculture in the Classroom. Why? So more students have the opportunity to make connections to agriculture.