The featured booth at Manitoba Ag Days for 2013 is the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre, which will be offering information and activities aimed at making connections between the farm and the food on your plate.
The centre is located at the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at the University of Manitoba’s Glenlea Research Station. It hosts Grade 5 to 8 students during the week and family groups on Saturdays. At the centre kids can pretend to drive a tractor, turn a mill and grind corn and wheat to make flour and, if they arrive on the right day, watch piglets being born on the working pig farm at the site.
The centre can’t bring all those activities to Ag Days but they will have markers and paper for kids to draw pictures for display on the booth’s backboard and visitors can examine the different growth stages of various plants that are grown in Manitoba. As well they can create a “living necklace.”
“Visitors to our booth can select a seed of their choice and then they wrap it up into a moist cotton ball and put it into a small bag that they will wear around their neck,” says Siobhan Maas, discovery centre co-ordinator, who will be at the Ag Days booth. “That will provide the seed with warmth and moisture and with some sunlight from outside their seed will hopefully grow and they can plant it when they get home after a week or two.”
There will also be information about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, and more importantly, the many ways that agriculture contributes to help mitigate and reduce GHG emissions.
Maas says the centre is excited about its first exhibit at Ag Days and the opportunity it represents to raise awareness about the centre and teach people a little bit more about how their food is grown and turned into the items they recognize in the grocery store. It also helps farmers to connect to the other side of the industry that turns their crops into food products.
“I think we are all proud of what we are producing here in Manitoba and I think the Bruce D. Campbell Centre does a great job of showcasing what we do,” says Scott Perkins, Ag Days co-chair.