Our Board

As part of a Canadian effort, our nine provincial member organizations serve as our board of directors. These members guide us with their passion, vision, and commitment to agriculture education in our country.

Laurie Loane

Laurie Loane

Chair

Prince Edward Island
laurie@peiagsc.ca

I was lucky enough to grow up on a beef/swine farm on PEI. While working for NSCC, the Business Instructor asked me what I was passionate about.... it took me a moment to realize that it was Agriculture. I then made the choice to find an Ag job which brought me home to our family farm with my two daughters in 2014. This new opportunity engulfed my business, education and agriculture background... a perfect fit. Ag Education is important... too many of us no longer have a connection to where our food comes from and the people who dedicate their life to producing the food for us. AITC provides the education bale that we need to roll out across Canada!


Pat Tonn

Pat Tonn

Vice Chair

British Columbia
pat.tonn@gov.bc.ca

Many students are generations away from the land and understanding the value of agriculture. It is my passion to work with Educators and our Partners to share the agriculture story from the farm to our table. The Board of Directors and staff of the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation are committed to build awareness about BC agriculture through programs, projects and resources. Thanks to Farmers, Growers and Ranchers we can bring the bounty of BC to the classroom. We are excited to cultivate and grow the work of this remarkable BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation.


Sara Shymko

Sara Shymko

Treasurer

Saskatchewan
sara@aitc.sk.ca

Growing up on a farm, it seemed that I always knew how important our land was, how dependent on weather we are, and how back-breaking and at the same time rewarding farming is. It wasn’t until I started working with AITC that I realized what an enormous gap there is between farmers and the general public. When a child asked me for a seed to plant cheese – I knew that what I was doing at Ag in the Classroom was important. Through our hands-on programs and resources, we are giving kids the opportunity to connect with agriculture. We are helping them to understand where their food comes from and the innovative ways the agriculture industry is meeting challenges and continuing to produce food to feed the world.


Sue Clayton

Sue Clayton

Secretary

Manitoba
sue@aitc.mb.ca

Like many students Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba (AITC-M) impacts, I didn’t grow-up on a farm but it was through my education and work experience where I was able to learn about this amazing industry and develop a passion for agriculture education.
One of the first times I volunteered for AITC-M, a student told a volunteer that they were so surprised to discover that flour didn’t come from powdered marshmallows but came from wheat. Experiences like this reinforce my desire to support teachers and students with accurate, balanced and current information about agriculture, so they can foster healthy relationships with food and farmers.
AITC-M plays a vital role in offering incredible hands-on learning opportunities where students and teachers can learn, ask questions, and think critically about the messages they hear about food. Students should understand how their food is produced and processed, because these young minds are the future of this incredible, dynamic industry. I am proud of the role AITC-M plays provincially, and nationally with AITC Canada, to ensure the next generation is equipped with well informed, passionate decision makers. The future looks bright for Canadian agriculture.


Karen Carle

Karen Carle

Alberta
karen.carle@gov.ab.ca

Growing up in an agricultural family, I had a connection to the land from a young age, visiting my aunt’s farm in the summers and listening to family farming conversations throughout the year. Getting my hands dirty in the garden, heading out with my cousin to feed the cattle and summers spent in rural Alberta are all part of my DNA. Although we live in challenging times with the urban/rural divide growing, there is also an unprecedented interest from urbanites on where their food comes from and how it is produced. Bridging that knowledge gap through innovative agriculture education programming is an exciting and rewarding challenge. Nothing beats seeing the lightbulbs turn on for students as they participate in programs and experience for themselves the exciting world of growing food and feeding the world. It’s a privilege to be part of this great industry and I look forward to the continually expanding suite of programs and resources that Ag in the Classroom is developing to connect kids to their food system.


Colleen Smith

Colleen Smith

Past Chair

Ontario
director@agscape.ca

With more than a quarter century of service to schools and the agri-food industry, we are continually evolving to keep pace with a new breed of curious, technologically-savvy students. It drives us to remain current and progressive...grounded in a vision for tomorrow.
Our team is driven by AgScape's ongoing commitment to providing teachers and students with a discussion platform to learn about agriculture and food production, and to inspiring students to pursue careers in our sector. We are excited to continue creating agriculture and career literacy under our AgScape® brand.


Colleen Smith is affiliated with:

Judy Grant

Judy Grant

Nova Scotia
Judy.Grant@novascotia.ca

Having worked my whole career in agriculture, I have a deep respect and appreciation for farmers, agrologists and agricultural professionals. Through my work I get to see first-hand the value in connecting the public with the farm community. Our programs have potential to spark an appreciation for the economic impact of agriculture in Nova Scotia, the safety and quality of Canadian farm products, the environmental stewardship required of farmers, and the innovative thinking which fuels the industry.


Stéphane Sirois

Stéphane Sirois

New Brunswick
coordinator@fermenbfarm.ca

As the Executive director of Céd’ici, an innovative social enterprise, I helped bring healthy made from scratch meals using local ingredients to students in several New Brunswick schools.
I played an essential role in the creation of CANB (Cooperation in agri-food New Brunswick) a local food distribution cooperative.
I believe its crucial as part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone to know where the food they eat comes from and how it was produced.
Every student should have hands on experiences and be exposed to the agricultural world as part of the school curriculum.
I am a huge advocate of finding a balance between the use of technology and traditional methods in food production.
Proud to be a member of the AITC-C team and help students and teachers connect with food.


Maureen Foley

Maureen Foley

Newfoundland & Labrador
maureen@nlfa.ca

I am so proud to be part of a program that is connecting students with Canadian agriculture. Coming from a culinary background I feel it is so important to know where our food comes from, who grows it, how and where it’s grown.


I love sharing the story of Newfoundland and Labrador’s agriculture industry, in particular highlighting our fresh/local products.  Agriculture in The Classroom enables students to plant, grow, eat and share their agriculture knowledge and classroom produce with classmates, friends and family.

It is such a great feeling to know we have a part in encouraging students to eat better, create their own backyard gardens/greenhouses and become involved in their schools’ and community’s outdoor gardens.  Students have also encouraged their family members to get involved. Now they know they CAN do it!

It’s such a privilege to work with educators who have commented on our programs “THIS IS LEARNING AT ITS FINEST!"