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Students learn about agricultural practices through interactive event

Teachers in western Manitoba consider Agriculture in the Classroom events highly important to both urban and rural students

Canola crushing, livestock procedures and a live auction were just a few of the topics explored at Agriculture in the Classroom’s (AITC) Amazing Ag Adventure held in Brandon last week.

Students from throughout western Manitoba were exposed to a variety of agriculture practices at the event, which saw the students work through 18 interactive, 10-minute stations.

“We generally gear this event to Grades 3, 4 and 5; that is because it fits in well with their curriculum in science and social studies,” said Diane Mauthe, project co-ordinator with AITC. “This event gives all the students an opportunity to learn a lot more about agriculture and how important it is in their daily lives.”

The various stations offered up information on a number of things that students use on a day-to-day basis, providing them with insight on how those things come to be.

“Our presenters are a combination of volunteers, producers and commodity groups members who have come forward to participate and who really appreciate what AITC is doing,” said Mauthe.

Ag Adventures has been held annually in Brandon for over 10 years and continues to evolve every year. A number of teachers in the area looks forward to involving their students every year.

“My students love hands-on opportunities and there are so many of these at this event. I find that when they have these hands-on opportunities they tend to remember and retain the information better,” said Todd Foster, Grade 4 teacher from Forrest Elementary School. Foster has been bringing his students to the Ag Adventure event for the past 12 years.

Ag In the Classroom event

Kids got a close look at a sheep during the Amazing Ag Adventure tour.
photo: Jennifer Paige

“The 10-minute stations are perfect. They are long enough to give the kids a message but not too long that they get bored or distracted,” said Foster. “I do a comprehension test after the event just to see what they are retaining and they retain a lot of what is presented here.”

Foster notes that while Forrest Elementary is based in a rural area and the majority of the students lives on acreages, very few of them have any real farm experience.

“I never grew up on a farm and when I take in this event I am rejuvenated with an appreciation for the ag activity that goes on around us. I know my students are getting that same experience. I really think that AITC is extremely important to all Manitoba students.”

About the author

Reporter

Jennifer Paige is a reporter centred in southwestern Manitoba. She previously wrote for the agriculture-based magazine publisher, Issues Ink and was the sole-reporter at the Minnedosa Tribune for two years prior to joining the Manitoba Co-operator.

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