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

Chairperson

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 Chairperson

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.


Luree Williamson

Luree Williamson

Alberta
lwilliamson@agricultureforlife.ca

Luree Williamson is the CEO of Agriculture for Life, an Alberta-based charitable organization dedicated to building a greater understanding and appreciation of agriculture and its fundamental connection to life. She comes from a long line of farmers, with deep roots in agriculture. Luree is blessed to have first-hand experience of the dedication it takes to steward the land and produce healthy, safe and sustainable food. Her background in marketing and communications serves her well, as she shares the story of agriculture with those less familiar.
“Storytelling is the heart of community and tradition,” she says. “The story of agriculture brings people together at every meal.”
For Luree, agriculture is life. “It connects us all,” she adds. “Agriculture is embedded in history and will drive our future. I am honoured to help learners of all ages understand agriculture and the important role it plays in our lives.”
Involvement with Ag in the Classroom represents a collaborative movement for Agriculture for Life. “This movement is based on engaging, empowering and inspiring youth to realize the potential of agriculture and the possibilities the industry holds for them,” she says.
“Ag for Life is honoured to be a part of this movement.”


Glenna Banda

Glenna Banda

Ontario
Glenna.Banda@agscape.ca

Growing up in rural Saskatchewan as the daughter of a mechanic, I have many memories of tagging along with my dad during harvest to deliver equipment out to a field or to help make repairs. I grew up with an understanding of how our food got from the field to our table and how farmers and agri-businesses made positive social, economic and environmental impacts. Along with the AgScape board and staff, I’m thrilled to be helping Ontario students have this same awareness and helping them be the next generation of global citizens, thinkers and innovators who will further the sustainability of our food systems and the planet.


Glenna Banda is affiliated with:

Mathieu Rouleau

Mathieu Rouleau

Quebec

president@ecole-o-champ.org

I am President & Co-founder of École-O-Champ Québec, a non-profit organization that promotes education and the agricultural, food and environmental sciences throughout Quebec. I am passionate about the agricultural industry and all the careers that surround agriculture. This passion comes from my childhood and I am very happy to have been raised on a dairy, field crop and maple syrup in southwestern Quebec.

As a board member of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, I think it's important to unite all voices and work together to move Canada forward by bringing people closer to agriculture. We must not forget that once in our life, we need a doctor, a lawyer, a police officer, but every day we need a farmer. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or eat meat, the basis of our society is agriculture and that is why I am proud to be part of the agricultural world!

Rebecca Sooksom

Rebecca Sooksom

Nova Scotia
Rebecca.Sooksom@novascotia.ca

I grew up on a family farm in Nova Scotia, studied Agriculture at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College for six years, and have worked in various aspects of agriculture for almost my entire career, including in Thailand and the Philippines. My passion for agriculture was born early and stayed strong, I can’t imagine working in any other industry. Agriculture touches so many aspects of our daily lives, and it’s crucial for students to learn about where their food comes from and what modern agriculture looks like.


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!"