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Sask Pork goes back to school to support Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

By Lynn Redl-Huntington

Sask Pork is marking Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month with an educational blitz in classrooms across Saskatchewan.

March marks the 12th year of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM), a month-long initiative whereby the agricultural community takes to classrooms across the country to offer hands-on activities and programs for students so they can realize, understand, and engage with their own connections to agriculture.

Sask Pork staff and volunteers visited 261 students in 10 classrooms, including Saskatoon’s École Cardinal Leger Catholic School, Ernest Lindner School, Father Robinson School, and St. Bernard School. Queen Mary Community School and W.J. Berezowsky Public School in Prince Albert and the Leask Home School Co-Op also received visits.  

“The theme of this year’s CALM presentations was Land Stewardship. I want the students to take home the message that hog farmers care about the land.  All farmers need healthy land in order to grow food, and hog farmers help with fertilizing the soil using hog manure,” said Sask Pork’s Ag Education Co-ordinator Jessica Podhordeski. 

Sask Pork has several volunteers helping spread the word about the hog industry this year, including The Whole Hog youth ambassador Reise, and Alison Jeffery, a research technician at VIDO who also works with Ontario Pork. Jeffery grew up around the hog industry, thanks to her mom working as a veterinarian specializing in pigs. Sask Pork’s ambassadors shared a short educational presentation about the hog industry with students as well as a pig bookmark project.

“My students were engaged and excited to learn from the experts on agriculture. They talked about pig farming and the new knowledge they learned for the rest of the week.  They created a pig craft and brought it home to share what they learned with their families. I'll definitely be contacting Jessica next year to participate in my classroom again,” said Mandy Jones, kindergarten teacher at Queen Mary Community School in Prince Albert.

“Canada’s Agriculture Literacy Month is an excellent opportunity to show young people where our food comes from, as well as the essential and fascinating work of those who produce it. Thanks to partners like Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, we can provide teachers with tools, programs and teaching materials to help entice the next generation to choose one of many career options available within the agriculture and agri-food sector,” said Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. 

“For more than a decade, Canadian Agricultural Literacy Month has given us an opportunity to celebrate our connections - as Canadians - to agriculture,” said Rebecca Sooksom, chair, AITC Canada. “Linking students with food producers helps keep that connection strong so the next generation of Canadians knows not only where their food comes from, but also the importance of the sector to our communities from coast to coast.”

If you would like to volunteer to help tell the story of hog farming in Saskatchewan at next year’s Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month, please contact Jessica at jessica@saskpork.com.

Source : Saskpork

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