Catch up with The Cultivator

There is always something happening with AITC-C! Whether it's a new resource or an exciting initiative launch, we strive to ensure all our stakeholders, partners, and friends are informed of the latest news.

Our quarterly newsletter, The Cultivator, is one of our favourite ways to connect with our follows and share organizational news, new resources, events, and more. Take a look back at past newsletters:

Check out the latest AITC national and provincial programs and other exciting news from the agriculture industry.

AITC Canada Launches Season 3 of the Great Canadian Farm Tour

April 11, 2024 (Winnipeg, MB) – Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) and its 10 provincial members are taking students on virtual tours of farms and growing operations in every province this spring with Season 3 of the Great Canadian Farm Tour (GCFT).

This year, the season kicks off with a tour to an alpaca farm in Ontario on April 11 and includes tour stops through the month of May to explore vertical farming in BC, see a cricket operation in Manitoba, learn about greenhouse operations in Quebec and Nova Scotia and experience oyster farming in PEI. There is something new for everyone to learn about Canada’s rich agriculture story from coast to coast.

“Over the past two seasons, we have virtually travelled coast to coast visiting farms in each province with our provincial partners and there is still so much to explore thanks to Canada’s amazing agriculture industry,” says Mathieu Rouleau, Executive Director of AITC-C. “The tours are a unique way to connect students with farmers to experience what it’s like on farms across Canada and learn more about the important role agriculture plays in our lives every day.”

Launched in March 2022 to celebrate Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM), the GCFT has created over 840,000 student experiences with 21 virtual farm tours over the last two years. The GCFT provides the opportunity for students and educators to connect and interact with Canadian farmers and food processors, who are eager to tell their stories of how they are working to produce safe, nutritious, and sustainable food.   

FCC is the presenting partner for the GCFT and a valued supporter of AITC-C.

Click for the full release.

AITC-Canada Partners with CropLife Canada to Develop Resources for Educators

April 9, 2024 (Winnipeg, MB) – Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) has partnered with CropLife Canada to develop three curriculum-linked resources for educators and students across the country. 

 The interactive and engaging resources aim to help Grade 10 and 11 students explore some of the realities of modern farming by seeing what it takes to successfully grow carrots, turnips and potatoes. The resources draw on CropLife Canada’s Real Farm Lives documentary web series, which was created to showcase the work and lives of farm families across the country. Season 3 of Real Farm Lives, which the resources are focused on, features the McKenna family from Prince Edward Island, who are deeply committed to growing high-quality food for their family and families across the country while leaving the land in better condition for the next generation. 

 “Teachers play an instrumental role in shaping the future of our next generation by guiding students towards a deeper understanding and appreciation of the vital role agriculture has to play in our lives,” said Mathieu Rouleau, Executive Director of AITC-C. “By fostering a deeper understanding of our agriculture and food system, we empower students to become informed citizens and stewards of our planet’s future.”

 AITC-C and CropLife Canada both believe in providing accurate, balanced and current information to educators to promote agriculture education in Canadian classrooms. Resources like these help students build knowledge around key ideas such as food preparation, food waste and crop protection. 

Click for the full release. 

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month Celebrates Agriculture In Classes Across Canada

March 1, 2024 (Winnipeg, MB) – Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) and its 10 provincial partners are celebrating agriculture in classrooms across the country this month during the 13th annual Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM).  

With the goal of connecting students with farmers and other agriculture industry professionals, CALM is a national celebration every March to share Canada’s rich agriculture and food story with students from K to 12. AITC organizations in each province will offer uniquely different activities aimed at helping students learn about agriculture in an interactive and engaging way.  

“We want to cultivate curiosity and encourage students to learn more about where their food comes from,” says Mathieu Rouleau, Executive Director of AITC-C. “CALM is a great opportunity to connect students with agriculture and share Canada’s amazing agriculture and food story.” 

A new storybook, All The Farmers You Will Know, will be introduced to younger students during CALM. Written by WS Marketing, it highlights the wonders of the modern farm and the farmers and families who work and live on them. Youth are encouraged to visit to use an interactive new video tool to see themselves in a career in agriculture and food.  

Last year, AITC partners from coast to coast created over 184,000 student experiences during CALM. Hundreds of industry volunteers will visit classes across Canada again this March to share presentations, activities and personal stories to help students learn more about agriculture.  Cargill is the presenting partner for CALM and a valued supporter of AITC-C.  

CFA and CAHRC endorse AITC Canada as the leader in agriculture education

February 28, 2024 (Winnipeg, MB) – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) both recognized Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) as the leader in agriculture education by providing official endorsements for AITC-C at the CFA’s annual general meeting in Ottawa today. Last year, AITC-C and its 10 provincial member organizations provided over two million student learning experiences from coast to coast.

“It is with great pleasure that we share our support for the important work that AITC-C is undertaking to educate students and teachers about agriculture,” said Keith Currie, Chair of the CFA. “Our organizations share a common vision for building public trust and helping to ensure a trusted, sustainable, and vibrant agriculture sector in Canada.” 

Currie said the CFA looks forward to continued collaboration with AITC-C and the shared commitment to promoting the importance of agriculture in Canada. For example, both organizations are committed to the National Workforce Strategic Plan for Agriculture, Food and Beverage Manufacturing, which highlights the need to educate the next generation and future workforce about the agriculture industry in Canada. 

Peggy Brekveld, Chair of CAHRC, also demonstrated her organization’s support for the important work that AITC-C is doing to educate and inspire students about agriculture.

 "The National Workforce Strategic Plan clearly points out the need for the work of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada and collaboration amongst industry to raise awareness of the opportunities in agriculture, starting with students at all levels,” says Brekveld. “CAHRC supports the great work of AITC-C on this front and it is with great pleasure that CAHRC formally supports and partners with AITC-C.”

AITC-Canada partners with McCain Foods to kick off Career Month

November 1, 2023 (Headingley, MB) – Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) has partnered with McCain Foods to encourage high school students to explore the endless career opportunities within agriculture in celebration of Career Month in Canada. 

To kick off Career Month, an annual national event celebrating the importance of accessing meaningful work, high school students across Canada were invited to participate in Explore the Possibilities, a virtual career exploration event designed to discover the opportunities to work in the agriculture and agri-food sector.  

This morning, the Explore the Possibilities event featured a panel of four McCain employees with diverse backgrounds who shared their career journeys and insights to inspire students to consider a career in agriculture. AITC-C moderated the event, highlighting the variety of careers and opportunities at McCain, a leader in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry and the world’s largest manufacturer of potato products.  

“Agriculture is requiring ever more diverse skill sets as we see exciting new technologies coming into the industry and use data to improve efficiency on farm and throughout the entire supply chain,” said Daniel Metheringham, Vice President Agriculture & Sustainability North America Potato. “People are key to pushing forward the industry, and there is an array of exciting roles available to help transform sustainable farming and the future of food.” 

“The future of agriculture is sitting in classrooms today,” says Sara Shymko, Interim Executive Director of AITC-C. “Thanks to the support of valuable partners like McCain Foods, we want to inspire the next generation of big thinkers, decision-makers, and leaders to be part of agriculture’s future.” 

More than 3,300 students from 58 schools across the country participated in the virtual panel earlier today. Teachers can still share the panel with their classrooms by accessing the link at AITC-C's YouTube channel.

AITC-C is looking for teachers to provide feedback on a new middle years program.

AITC-C is looking for teachers to provide feedback on a new middle years program.

Calling all Grade 5, 6, 7, and 8 teachers!

We're developing an exciting new program and are looking for a limited numbers of teachers to help! This could be you!

“What's it about?”

Mission Explorium is equal parts fun for students and easy for teachers. When your class suddenly finds themselves on an uninhabited island, you meet two feathered travelers, Ricardo and Raj, who impart their worldly knowledge upon their new friends (your students!). With the help of famed anthropologist Professor Flora, you’ll create your own society from the ground up while exploring sustainability topics ranging from ecosystems to food production. Plunk your students in the driver’s seat of this choose-your-own adventure competition, as they encounter complicated real-word topics in a fun, experiential way. 

Sound exciting? We agree! But we need your help to make this program as valuable for YOU as possible.

There are two options to choose from on how to provide feedback: an online survey, and/or a teacher focus group. Each option requires a 1-hour time commitment

“What do I get in return?”

Aside from getting a sneak peek at this exciting new program, AITC-C is also offering$50 compensation for each option of feedback.

“What is the timeline?”

The survey will be sent out on May 30th, with a deadline of June 5th to be completed.

The focus groups will take place June 7th at 3:30pm EDT and June 8th at 6:30pm EDT. 

If this sounds interesting to you, click here to apply to be considered. Only selected teachers will be contacted.

PLEASE NOTE: If you already have an account with the AITC Dashboard, enter your email address and password under the Log In heading. If you do not have an AITC Dashboard account, click "Sign up now!" to create an account. Please check your Junk folder for a confirmation email.

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month connects students with their food through innovative learning experiences

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month connects students with their food through innovative learning experiences

The Agriculture in the Classroom National Collective celebrates 12 years of their flagship program by providing activities from coast-to-coast

Headingley, MB - Most people eat multiple times every single day. Each bite is connected to agriculture, whether they realize it or not.

This March will mark the 12th year of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM). The Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) National Collective is passionate about offering hands-on activities and programs for students so they can realize, understand, and  engage with their own connections to agriculture.

“For more than a decade, Canadian Agricultural Literacy Month has given us an opportunity to celebrate our connections - as Canadians - to agriculture,” said Rebecca Sooksom, chair, AITC-C. “Linking students with food producers helps keep that connection strong so the next generation of Canadians knows not only where their food comes from, but also the importance of the sector to our communities from coast to coast.” 

Each AITC member organization offers its own learning opportunities to students in their respective province, including reading challenges, contests, videos, classroom presentations, and ag resource kits. Some of these include: seed kits, launching new resources, and in class visits from agriculture industry professionals.

“Canada’s Agriculture Literacy Month is an excellent opportunity to show young people where our food comes from, as well as the essential and fascinating work of those who produce it. Thanks to partners like Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, we can provide teachers with tools, programs and teaching materials to help entice the next generation to choose one of many career options available within the agriculture and agri-food sector,” said Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. 

Although AITC offers resources and programs year-round, it takes extra pride during the month of CALM, as hundreds of ag-proud volunteers sign up to give of their time to meet with students from coast to coast. In 2022, CALM provided more than 137,000 student experiences with agriculture and food in all ten Canadian provinces. Together with its supporting partners Cargill and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AITC will expand its reach and get closer to its vision of having agriculture in every classroom, inspiring every student.

“We are honoured to continue our support for CALM and its mission of educating communities on how their food is produced, connecting farmers to the families they feed,” said Jeff Vassart, President, Cargill Canada. “This work is vital in introducing a whole new generation to the vast world of agriculture and the many roles that Canadians play in feeding the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.”

For more information about CALM , please visit Follow along on social media:  #CALM23   #OurFoodOurStory 

New classroom resource launched to EXPLORE Digital Agriculture!

New classroom resource launched to EXPLORE Digital Agriculture!

Do you have students that are tech-savvy and creative thinkers? The Career Case: Explore Digital Agriculture Extension will spark students’ interest in the compelling world of digital agriculture. Students will learn about the various tools and technologies used in agriculture and food production, explore the relationship between technology in agriculture and everyday use, and increase their awareness of careers within this multi-faceted, ever-evolving area of the sector. This resource has been designed for students in Grades 7-9 (Grade 10-12 resource coming March 2023!) and is your opportunity to help young people see all that the future of work in digital agriculture can offer.

To read more click here.

2017-2018 Impact Sheet

2017-2018 Impact Sheet

In 2017-2018 Agriculture in the Classroom Canada reached over 470, 814 students! Learn more aout our Impact here!

Impact Sheet PDF

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) was a great success in March 2018. Nine provinces (NL, NS, NB, PE, ON, MB, SK, AB & BC) participated with activities ranging from classroom reading visits with industry and producer representatives, high school sessions, library visits, class visits to farms, as well as a large social media component. Once again, this year the CALM coordinator allowed for the provincial coordinators to have a central hub for communication and sharing ideas. It also allowed for one person to manage national tasks including the development and distribution of teacher and volunteer resources and managing the social and traditional media communications. 

Agriculture in the Classroom Canada thanks Farm Credit Canada for its ongoing support to this impactful initiative.

View the Final Report for Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (PDF)


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