By Rachel Kraynick, PAg, Agriculture Programs Specialist, Yorkton
Canada's Agriculture Day was held on February 23, 2021. This year's theme was "Forks Up" which encouraged participants to celebrate Canadian food and the agriculture industry. Saskatchewan has a lot to celebrate, being home to more than 40 per cent of Canada's cultivated farmland and some of the most productive land in the world. Our province is the world's largest exporter of peas, lentils, durum wheat, mustard seed, canola, flaxseed and oats and is the second largest cattle-producing province in Canada. We are home to more than 300 food processing companies, the Protein Industries Canada supercluster and the Saskatchewan Food Centre. Our province is filled with innovative producers and early adopters of commercial technology who have led the way in maximizing the province's agricultural productivity.
The Ministry of Agriculture celebrated this day by hosting a provincial photo contest where individuals submitted their agriculture photos. We received over 200 photos. Thank you to everyone who took part in the contest. You may see these photos appear in our ministry's social media posts, print publications or staff presentations and the winner will be featured in October's edition of Agriview.
We also hosted a celebration challenge that engaged 1,850 students from across the province. Students that participated in the day received plantable bookmarks. These bookmarks were filled with carrot seeds and could be used as a bookmark or seeded into soil to sprout some tasty snacks. Yorkton's Grain Millers graciously sponsored the bookmarks for our challenge and Agriculture in the Classroom helped us connect to classrooms across the province, encouraging the students to find creative ways to celebrate agriculture.
Our challenge included students from Kindergarten to Grade 9, rural and urban, and here are a few examples of how they chose to celebrate:
- We drew pictures about what agriculture meant to us and put them around the community! We wrote letters to the family members who are our food heroes!
Mrs. Rachul Kindergarten class - Delisle Early Learning, Delisle
- We have been growing peas, canola and wheat in our classroom in preparation for Agriculture Day!
Mrs. Potter Grade 1 - Ecole St. Isidore School, Bellevue
- We created a large poster about the importance of Canadian agriculture. The students worked together as a class to research and learn what the word "agriculture" means and the many ways that agriculture is a part of their lives. We look forward to growing our bookmarks!
Ms. Mcintosh Grades 1-4 - Lajord Colony, White City
- We celebrated Canada's Agriculture Day by studying Canada's Food Guide. We used our "What's in your Lunchbox" resource and several agriculture story books from our friends at Agriculture in the Classroom. We explored Canadian Farms by taking the "FarmFood 360" virtual tours online to learn where our food comes from.
Mrs. Matiko Grade 2/3 class - Lakeview School, Saskatoon
- We made butter and are learning all about crops and early settler farming practices in Saskatchewan!
Mrs. Wagman Grade 3/4 - Gladys McDonald, Regina
- We posted a forks up photo on social media!
Mrs. Campbell Grade 4 class - St. Josephs School, Lloydminster
- We dressed like farmers and ranchers and investigated how technology is impacting farming. We investigated "farm to fork", read books on agriculture, watched Saskatchewan's Stewardship Journey and are writing letters to our food heroes.
Mrs. Rosvold Grade 4 - Tisdale
- We baked bread and made butter in class. We sent letters to farmers in our local area thanking them for the work they do!
Mrs. Siwak Grade 6 - Riverside Public School, Prince Albert
- We are planting different types of plants and work through the scientific method with the plants. We are also planting "tomatosphere" seeds.
Mrs. Barton and Mr. Depape Grade 9 - Sacred Heart School, Yorkton
Even though February 23 is the day dedicated to celebrating the food we love and the people who produce it, we hope everyone continues to celebrate our agriculture industry and all those that work so hard to keep food on our plates.