Classroom Agriculture Program needs more volunteers

Volunteers are farmers, ranchers, agri-food experts, 
government members or others with agriculture experience

Many children don’t connect milk, eggs, and vegetables with the cows, chickens and crops in Alberta, and they don’t understand the role that agriculture plays in their daily lives. The Classroom Agriculture Program (CAP) helps children learn about the food they eat, where it comes from and the importance of agriculture in this province.

Volunteers with an interest or experience in agriculture deliver these messages to Grade 4 students across Alberta. With strong growth in requests from schools for CAP presentations, more people connected to the farm are needed to share their knowledge and experience with these children.

CAP was launched as a way to bring a strong, positive message about agriculture into classrooms. Since 1986 CAP has reached hundreds of thousands of students. Last year about 20,000 children were registered for the program. The hour-long presentation is delivered by dedicated CAP volunteers. These volunteers are farmers, ranchers, agri-food experts, government members or others with agriculture experience. This network of volunteers delivers the program between February and June of each year.

Presentations include story-telling, hands-on props and fun activities. CAP provides training, ideas, resources and guidance to all volunteers. “The prep work was not excessive and lots of latitude in content is encouraged. The presentations went terrific and we both (the students and myself) got a lot out of the sessions,” said Darold Niwa, key account manager UFA and CAP volunteer.

CAP success relies on the involvement of people who are dedicated to preserving and promoting agriculture. CAP is endorsed by the minister of agriculture and the minister of education. CAP supporters include Agriculture for Life, Agrium, Alberta Barley Commission, Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Alberta Chicken Producers, Alberta Institute of Agrologists, Alberta Irrigation Projects Association, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, Alberta Wheat Commission, Eastern Irrigation District and the Egg Farmers of Alberta. To register go to www.classroomagriculture.com.

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