University of Manitoba Conducts Research at its Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Agriculture education is vital in order to ensure that the public has an understanding about the process of how food gets from the farm to our plates. The University of Manitoba is home to Canada’s first hands-on-facility dedicated to agriculture education that’s open to the general public. The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre, which has been open for about a year is seeking to enhance its current program offerings and are working on developing new ones too. With this in mind, the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management is conducting research to understand how people learn about agriculture so that the centre can analyze the results and develop new programs to identify ways of how to reach various groups of the general public so that they can improve the overall learning experience at the centre.
The faculty is asking visitors about their attitudes and general knowledge about agriculture. The research will look at visitor’s perceptions and knowledge prior to the visit and after and then again several months later to measure how much knowledge they retain. The findings will be presented to the centre in a report that will outline some key recommendations on how to enhance the learning modals moving forward. In addition to the report, the University plans on conducting a workshop in the spring targeted at those involved in agriculture communications and education with the hopes that they can tailor how they communicate about agriculture and maximize agriculture and food awareness.
The research addresses a major gap in our current agriculture education approach – which is largely a guessing game. It’s important that people in the agriculture community have a firm grasp about how people both learn and understand agriculture.