At Ag in the Classroom-SK we connect kids and agriculture. In August we took a new approach and had the opportunity to connect TEACHERS and agriculture over a three day, 1100 kilometer expedition throughout east-central Saskatchewan.
Our first day of the tour started with a welcome at the AITC-SK headquarters in Saskatoon where Executive Director, Sara Shymko, asked the teachers about the craziest thing a student has said about agriculture. “I had students say they didn’t want to butcher a pig for food, but rather buy pork at the store so no animals would be harmed”, was a response that stood out reiterating the importance of educating youth on where their food comes. Tour stops on the first day included Novozymes Biological Ltd, Rayner Dairy Research & Teaching Facility, Monchuk Grain Farm, Triple B Bison Ranch, and Shymko Grain Farm. These stops brought ample knowledge about technology in agriculture, animal welfare and how the farmer’s livelihood depended on the well-being of their animals, and it was evident the passion these producers had for farming and growing food in Saskatchewan.
After a pleasant stay in Ituna the second day brought us a visit at Tee Two Land & Cattle Co. Inc., a community pasture, the Louis Dreyfus Company Canola Crush Plant, and Rawhides Bistro & Saloon, a hidden gem in Stenen. Our hosts shared their knowledge and expertise on maintaining the best soil health to sustain the environment, and we learnt about what happens to canola seed after it is harvested. Our travels took us to Hudson Bay where we stayed at Fir River Ranch which provided the best hospitality and morning wagon rides.
Our final day included stops at Fleury’s Frontier Adventure and Hodgson Farms. The teachers had the opportunity to go on a trail ride or enjoy equine assisted learning. Following we had an authentic German meal at Oma’s Kitchen which was made all with local ingredients, even the bread was made with grain from local producers which was freshly crushed and baked that day.
“I had never felt overly comfortable teaching anything to do with agriculture, farming, and farm related businesses in my classroom due to my lack of knowledge. This trip immersed me in agriculture in our province. Now I am excited, and cannot wait to share my newfound knowledge with my students!" says Wendy Lazarou, teacher from Lakeview Elementary School in Regina.
Agriculture is a vital part of Saskatchewan, and Ag in the Classroom-SK is working with teachers to bring agricultural knowledge, programs and resources to students so they understand the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from.