Our Staff

Our dedicated staff members are passionate about education, agriculture and food!

AITC-C staff are proud to work with provincial members to provide national tools and opportunities for Canadian classrooms.

Johanne Ross

Johanne Ross

Executive Director

jross@aitc-canada.ca

Through my career journey, I have been able to experience first-hand the passion, inspiration, excitement, innovation and uniqueness of Canada’s agriculture and food story. I feel so blessed to be able to share all of this with Canadian educators and students through AITC’s critical resources, programs and initiatives. Collaboration is the cornerstone to what we do - how lucky am I to be able to work alongside all the dynamic provincial member organizations, as well as hundreds of dedicated stakeholders and partners, as we strive together to build curiosity around, connections to and understanding of, the business of producing food. I love my job!!!

Christa Wright

Christa Wright

Operations Manager

cwright@aitc-canada.ca

Growing up on a farm, I always had a great appreciation where our food comes from. Our family is now into the 3rd generation, and I have watched how farming is not just a job but a lifestyle filled with dedication and passion. Our children today are so removed from the farm, they do not have the understanding of where our food comes from or know the importance. When I first began my career in agriculture education many years ago, I quickly learnt that we have an obligation to educate our future generations. We have a great story to tell and I am excited to have a role to play in delivering it to students across Canada. Agriculture in the Classroom Canada will build provincial capacity across this country for agriculture education so we can reach as many students as possible. So proud to be a member of this dynamic team!

Allison Leclerc

Allison Leclerc

Finance & Admin Manager

aleclerc@aitc-canada.ca

I feel fortunate to be a part of the AITC-C team, seeing each province deliver Ag Education across the country. As a farmer, I feel it is important that people, young and old, know where their food comes from and AITC-C delivers in an accurate, balanced and current format!

Sue Sheridan

Sue Sheridan

Director of Fund Development

ssheridan@aitc-canada.ca

“Life truly does come full circle”.

Early in my career I had the good fortune to work at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the largest indoor agricultural and equestrian event in the world. My portfolio included the Fair’s education centres, that were presented by various sector associations, who hosted over 45,000 school aged children over the course of the 10 days. The Fair brought the curriculum to life, helping students understand where their food came from and how vital Agriculture and Agribusiness is to Canada and our collective future.

Joining the Agriculture in the Classroom team, feels like home. Working with member associations, sector partners, corporations, government, and Foundations to ensure Teachers continue to have the resources they need to highlight the connections Agriculture has to the curriculum, and the vital role it has in the lives of Canadians and their communities across the country.

Education goes beyond shaping us as individuals, it helps us form opinions on local and global issues, teaches us about our communities. With education we learn to support each other and help make positive changes.

Shayla Wourms

Shayla Wourms

thinkAG Manager

swourms@aitc-canada.ca

From the time I was a little girl, I pondered what it meant to find my dream career. My dream meant having the opportunity to make a difference in this world, the chance to leave my mark. The dream came true when I found agriculture, and then the dream grew into something bigger: having the opportunity to share the importance of food and farming with the rest of the world. Helping people connect to and understand agriculture in their own special way has become the purpose of my career. Agriculture is essential to life, which means it will be forever present, forever looking forward, forever innovating, and forever exciting. I’m proud to represent agriculture as a Saskatchewan farmer and a member of the AITC Canada team, striving to help people of all ages understand where their food comes from, how it is produced, and why it is the greatest industry on earth.

Melissa Galay

Melissa Galay

Education Specialist

mgalay@aitc-canada.ca

As a teacher, I strive to foster 21st century skills through students learning experiences. My teaching philosophy is rooted in developing critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity skills which are imperative for students to be successful both in and out of the classroom. In the agriculture industry, now more than ever, it is vital to equip students with the skills and tools they need to navigate their way through the information available to them online, and in the media. Giving students the opportunity to not only learn where their food comes from, but also the best practices and safety assurance processes involved in the agri-food sector is the key to building public trust in our future leaders! I am so excited to bring an educator perspective to the AITC-C team in this new role and continue with the great work that is being done across Canada in agriculture education.

Melanie MacDonald

Melanie MacDonald

Senior Development Officer

mmacdonald@aitc-canada.ca

Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to have a career with impact. I was naturally drawn to opportunities that were philanthropic in nature and held the promise of making difference in the world. I was fortunate to begin my career in the non-profit sector early on, eventually finding my place in fund development, which has grown into a passion that extends beyond a job title. I also found a place for myself as a teacher, drawn to the incredible, long-lasting impact of education. And although I haven’t grown up in agriculture, I do believe that food connects us all. I have a deep appreciation for knowing where my food comes from and understand how important it is that our future generation does, too!

Now, working with AITC-C, I truly feel like it’s a perfect balance of all my passions. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside this vibrant team to continue creating meaningful impact for all those we serve.

Laura Newcombe

Laura Newcombe

Communications Coordinator

lnewcombe@aitc-canada.ca

Growing up in rural Prince Edward Island meant being surrounded by agriculture. Where our food came from was never a question in our home. And it should never be a question.

Although I always had a connection to agriculture in my personal life, I wasn’t actively pursuing it as a career option after I completed post-secondary. Luckily, I fell into the right opportunities helping me realize this is the industry for me. That’s what led me to my career here at AITC Canada. I am so excited to not only help bring agriculture education tools to teachers, but to also help youth realize the opportunities available no matter what their skill set is. The ag industry is much more than being a farmer. If you’re passionate, there is a place in the industry for you.

Laura Lefebvre

Laura Lefebvre

Project Coordinator

LLefebvre@aitc-canada.ca

As a suburbanite turned agriculture enthusiast, I know first-hand how profoundly agricultural education can change a young person’s life. Growing up in southern Ontario with little awareness of the agri-food industry, my passion for science and animal husbandry had no particular direction. A few positive post-secondary work experiences opened my eyes to the big, beautiful world of farming which I’ve been fortunate to explore through my career ever since.

I’m thrilled now to be a part of AITC Canada; a team that shares my passion for agriculture and my drive to bring curiosity and opportunity to students in every corner of our country. I’m so fortunate to have found my way into this industry, and look forward to helping the next generation pave their own path too!

Morgan MacTavish

Morgan MacTavish

thinkAG Project Coordinator

mmactavish@aitc-canada.ca

Growing up on a 5th generation farm in a strong farming community in Southwestern Ontario, I have a deep appreciation for the time, care, and dynamic workforce that goes into our food story. With help from wonderful mentors, they opened my eyes to new career experiences within agriculture education and I strongly feel this is where I am meant to be. Joining the thinkAG team is an exciting way to pay it forward and to connect others to the unique experiences available, hopefully sparking interest in young people pursuing a career in Agriculture. Playing a role in an industry that is rooted in meaningful connections, adaptivity, collaboration, and innovation are all key factors that make it an exciting and fulfilling sector to be a part of. I am proud to be a member of the AITC-C team and excited to help inspire the next generation to thinkAG!

Colleen Crunican

Colleen Crunican

Education Project Coordinator

ccrunican@aitc-canada.ca

I have had the privilege to be immersed in the agriculture industry from a young age, as I am the fifth generation involved in my family’s apple orchard. Throughout my extensive work and educational opportunities in agriculture and growing up close to a large city, I have experienced first-hand the misinformation that many individuals hold about how their food is produced. I am excited to work with AITC-C and use my skills as a Certified Teacher to provide students and educators with informed, hands-on, and valuable tools that will help more individuals – especially students – to make their own knowledge-based decisions about the food they eat.

My interest and education in agriculture has provided me with countless opportunities, from learning about food insecurity and volunteering on farms in rural Kenya, to learning about food production in Costa Rica. Now, working with AITC-C, I believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my career. I look forward to combining my passions of agriculture and education into my role and working collaboratively with our team to continue the legacy that this organization has already established.