Marvin and Margaret Elder used to shake their heads at how little, kids understood about their food’s origins. Margaret taught school in Virden. The couple farmed at Oak Lake.
“And we considered Virden rural. It just amazed us,” says Marvin.
It prompted the now-retired farm couple to start volunteering with Agriculture-in-the-Classroom – Manitoba (AITC-M) and “we’ve been with it about 15 years now,” said Marvin, who was in the crowd at Richardson’s Kelburn Farm last week enjoying a piece of birthday cake and a look back over the 10 years of one of AITC-M’s flagship programs; the Amazing Agriculture Adventure.
This year over 1,000 Winnipeg schoolchildren were taken by bus to Kelburn and to Glenlea Research Centre to participate in the Amazing Agriculture Adventure. AITC-M is trying out these new locations for the program launched as Amazing Grains in 1999 and held every year since at the Red River Exhibition Park grounds. In a decade, tens of thousands of Grades 4 and 5 students have spent a day there participating in interactive “stations” and learning a little bit about all sorts of aspects of agriculture, from crushing canola to the inner workings of a combine.
The Amazing Agriculture Adventure has been hugely successful, and couldn’t have been so without the support of volunteers who run this program, organizers said last week.
It also relies on the support of teachers who use AITC-M resources and become aware of such opportunities.
That’s why the AITC-M has decided to start selecting one teacher per year to send to the National U. S. Agriculture in the Classroom Conference. It’s a way of recognizing a teacher who shows exceptional enthusiasm about teaching his or her students about agriculture, said AITC-M executive director Johanne Ross. Call for nominations will go out through schools later this year with a winner announced next spring.
AITC-M has made good inroads in schools but also
“This year those top pods are filled up.”
– ANASTASIA KUBINEC
cursed, was ideal for canola, Kubinec said. The crop well branched and flowered an extended period.
“The (seed) pods have filled all the way to the top of the plant where as lots of years we get a really hot stretch in August and those top pods will just fry right off or seed will be pepper and just fly out the back of the combine,” Kubinec said. “This year those top pods are filled up.”
Later-seeded canola might not yield as well, Kubinec said. On average later crops don’t do as well due to a shorter growing per iod. Some fields were planted late because of wet, cool conditions in the spring, while others were replanted after frost damaged the first planting.
Some of the later-seeded canola crops were hit with sclerotinia and blackleg, which could reduce yields, Kubinec said.