The federal and provincial governments are investing $25,000 to expand and create new opportunities for young people to learn about agriculture and food, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Agriculture is attracting the best and the brightest young people,” said MacAulay. “But the sector needs many more young entrepreneurs pursuing careers in agriculture to ensure a sustainable and competitive industry for the future. Opportunities like this will help highlight the importance of farming to students, creating awareness and sparking interest to become the future leaders of the sector. Our government will continue to ensure we help our youth get the skills and support they need to drive Canadian agriculture forward for future generations.”
The funding, provided through the Growing Forward 2 – Growing Actions program, will support two Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba (AITC-M) projects. The Made in Manitoba Breakfast program will receive $20,000 to expand to 10 new schools in Winnipeg this year. At school events, a farmer shares his or her story with students while serving a breakfast made from Manitoba foods. Students learn how their food is produced, the importance of farming and the agriculture industry, as well as the variety of careers available.
“Agriculture has many interesting and important stories to tell,” said Eichler. “It’s important for Manitoba students to have the opportunity to experience and learn about this first-hand, from people who are passionate about food and farming. Manitoba is a proud supporter of AITC-M and their incredible work on behalf of the entire agriculture industry.”
AITC-M will also receive $5,000 to develop a new and interactive Edible Classroom curriculum for middle-years students. It will give them the opportunity to learn about nutrition and sustainability by growing indoor gardens and composting, with assistance provided by farmers and other agricultural leaders.
“We are thrilled to start developing the Edible Classroom program where students will get to celebrate the connection between their classroom and agriculture,” said Sue Clayton, AITC-M executive director. “Through hands-on learning, students will gain knowledge about where food comes from, the agriculture industry, agriculture careers and nutrition. With knowledge come understanding, respect and inspiration, motivating youth to care about and support Canadian agriculture.”
March is Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month, a national initiative encouraging students to learn about and appreciate agriculture.
AITC-M reaches approximately 30,000 students and teachers every year at all grade levels with curriculum-based programs, activities and tools focused on and its importance to Manitoba. To learn more about this non-profit organization and its initiatives, visit www.aitc.mb.ca.
Growing Actions invests in industry-led initiatives to increase competitiveness and create innovative solutions for agricultural organizations. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Growing Forward 2.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry.
For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.