5 Reasons to Teach Children about Agriculture

1. They are interested.

In my teaching practicum placement, I often talked about farming and agriculture with my students. They asked great questions about farm life and were surprised to learn that my family and I truly cared about the animals and crops we grew and worked hard to ensure that they were raised in a safe and healthy way.

The students that I have had the pleasure of meeting at the Canola Learning Centre are fascinated by farming. They ask quality questions and are curious to learn about life on a farm.Farmers with cattle | www.canolarecipes.ca

2. To make connections to food.

One statement that I find myself repeating with every group that visits the CLC is that “farmers work hard to produce good food for all of us to eat.” I believe that developing healthy relationships with food should begin with learning about where and how food is grown of farms.

Kids Eating Together | www.canolarecipes.ca

3. To make connections to the land.

At the Canola Learning Centre, we are all about experiential learning. The students get to visit a working farm, touch and experiment with canola seed, closely look at crops, pull and identify weeds (it’s more fun than it seems!), and sweep for bugs.

In all of these instances, students get to experience a farm gaining hands-on learning in an agricultural and educational environment.Canola field in full bloom | www.canolarecipes.ca

4. To make connections to people.

I think there has been a growing disconnect between producers and consumers. Farmers, like all other people, have families and care about their work. I think it is important for students to understand that farmers eat the food they produce, and by developing connections to the farmers, students are also developing connections to the food.Farmer in Tractor Cab | www.canolarecipes.ca

5. To gain perspective.

Learning about agriculture can be a contentious subject. There are many topics and issues of hot debate within the agriculture industry. Despite the disagreements, I think as educators we need to focus on three main ideas:

1. that all farmers work hard to produce good food for all of us to eat;
2. that all farmers care about the land and animals they grow; and
3. that we all have more to learn about agriculture in our immediate and global community.

Female Farmer in canola field | www.canolarecipes.ca

Interested in learning more? Looking for resources?

Check out these websites:

Manitoba Canola Growers Educational Resources

Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba

Be Well…Haylan

Guest Blogger Haylan | www.canolarecipes.caHaylan is a coffee drinking, book reading, out-door adventuring, Canadian History enthusiast who is passionate about the prairie landscape and wooden country grain elevators.  Haylan is currently working for the Manitoba Canola Growers as the Canola Learning Centre Coordinator and is returning to the University of Winnipeg in the fall to complete her Bachelor of Education Degree.

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4 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Teach Children about Agriculture

  1. I grew up in a farming family.

    Farming is THE last great industry to not be “farmed out” our “outsourced” to foreign countries. American farmers lead the world in productivity, quality, and conservation.

    It is also probably the last area where your own personal effort puts you on the line for results. That is because many things can wipe out your crop (weather, insects, economic forces), and therefore an inordinate amount of skill and wisdom is necessary to survive in farming. Hard work is just the beginning.

    In today’s social media driven world, our society is increasingly homogenous, and individual personal responsibility seems to be close to wiped out. Greatness is measured in trackpad clicks, when to be truthfull, most internet content is un-original and impulsively dinged out on a keyboard off the top of the author’s head – not the product of great thinking and true insight. The rest of society can learn a lot about America’s heirloom values which made our country great, such as integrity (not passing the buck in committee), honesty (not making up a story or some line about the meaning of “is”), and personal accountability (not looking to the government to supply you with anything, let alone money to live on). The work ethic that I still think of as uniquely American is most likely going to die during my lifetime. It will be replaced by mediocrity, and entitled expectations. No one will dare to be great out of a taught fear of offending the lazy masses, AS IF that is a bad thing (it is not).

    When you take on farming, you have to hustle or you don’t eat. When something breaks, you can’t just call a repair guy at 10:30 PM on Sunday. You are the guy. You have to rely on yourself. You can’t cry in your cornflakes and blame anyone else. Why? Because no one will care. No one will come to your rescue. No one will bail you out. Show me anywhere else where that is still true other than farming.

  2. Thanks for this useful information about farming. I do farming too in my foreign country. I grow Korean vegetables and more.

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