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Manitoba celebrates Agriculture Awareness Day With A Focus On Youth, Careers in Agriculture

Sixty high school students from the Pembina Trails School Division joined Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler today at Fort Richmond Collegiate to celebrate Agriculture Awareness Day and learn more about exciting careers available in the agriculture industry. 
“Agriculture is an incredibly exciting industry to be a part of in Manitoba,” said Eichler. “It is constantly growing and evolving as the industry benefits from new technologies and innovative thinking. Most importantly, agriculture offers rewarding opportunities and a bright future to young Manitobans who, like the students we met with today, are at a stage where they are making important decisions about their lives and their careers. Organizations like Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba are doing tremendous work, providing students a window into the world of agriculture and connecting them with these opportunities.” 
The day’s events included a panel discussion with industry professionals who talked about their jobs and the roles they play in the agriculture sector. Local producers served a Manitoba-made breakfast to all students and participants. 
Students from Fort Richmond Collegiate provided a tour of their new state-of-the-art educational tool, a controlled environment chamber, which allows students to observe how temperature, light and other factors affect plant growth.  It is one of four that have recently opened in North American high schools in an innovative pilot program to engage students in plant research focused on food and water security solutions. 
“In Pembina Trails, we are always looking for unique learning experiences,” said Julie Fisher, board chair, Pembina Trails School Division. “This cutting-edge technology allows our students an opportunity to engage in a deeper understanding of water and food safety issues. The controlled environment chamber also gives students a chance to partner with other North American schools and study optimal growing conditions in different environments.” 
Eichler noted agriculture contributes more than 62,000 jobs to Manitoba’s economy and directly employs about 27,000 workers. 
“High school students are at a pivotal moment in choosing their future career paths, and it’s crucial they don’t rule out a career in agriculture” said Sue Clayton, executive director, Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba. “As students graduate from post-secondary programs, diverse science and business career opportunities in agriculture and the agri-food sector are waiting for them and these bright young minds are in high demand.” 
In 2005, a unanimous all-party resolution was passed by the legislative assembly to create an annual Agriculture Awareness Day to promote greater awareness of the contributions agriculture makes to this province and the important role the agriculture industry plays as a key driver of the Manitoba economy. In 2014, The Farm and Food Awareness Act formalized this recognition in legislation, making Agriculture Awareness Day the third Tuesday in March.  
Source : Manitoba Agriculture

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