Students in Nova Scotia will learn more about the importance of agriculture directly from local farmers during the fifth annual Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week, which runs until March 5.
Farmers and other volunteers will visit Grade 4 classrooms across Nova Scotia to read to students about farming and share their passion for agriculture. The goal is to connect students directly with local farmers, increasing their understanding of the contributions made by agriculture, which delivered $567 million in farm cash receipts in 2014.
“A strong agriculture sector is critical to Nova Scotia’s future,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We need to make sure our youth understand that and raise their interest in a career in farming or other agriculture-related industries.”
Mr. Colwell will visit Grade 4 students at O’Connell Drive Elementary School in Porter’s Lake, Tuesday, March 1. He will read from Explore Farming in Nova Scotia: From Honey Bees to Maple Trees!, published by the Department of Agriculture. Aimed at nine and 10-year-olds, it will be left as a gift along with other curriculum-related activities.
“My students are excited about exploring the world of agriculture, connecting with someone from the industry and understanding the important role it plays in our lives,” said Sandy Gillie, Grade 4 teacher at O’Connell Drive Elementary School.
Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week is an educational initiative of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada and the Nova Scotia Agricultural Awareness Committee and with the support of Farm Credit Canada.
“As the agriculture industry grows, so does the need for additional talented, energetic and well-educated young people,” said Michael Hoffort, president and CEO of Farm Credit Canada. “Given that one in eight jobs in Canada is tied to the agri-food industry, there are a lot of opportunities for young people. Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week can stimulate some passion at an early age.”
Agriculture in Nova Scotia accounted for more than $385 million in exports in 2015, a 21 per cent increase over 2014.
“It is important to educate our youth about the significance of agriculture to the economy of Nova Scotia,” said Chris van den Heuvel, president of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “Events like Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week create opportunities for farmers to share their story and provide first-hand examples of what is done on their farm.”
More information about Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week is available at http://www.aitc-canada.ca/en/calw.html.