During a family supper, my 12-year-old nephew pipes up and says he’s taking a compulsory home ec class in school where he’s learning how to cook. I tell him to pay attention in class because that knowledge will come in handy when he’s older. After all, us girls like a man who can cook! But on a serious note, his comment made me think. Manitoba schools are teaching our children how to cook food, but not where that food comes from. That food didn’t just magically appear in their classroom or on their plates. It was grown by a farmer. And kids should be learning that. But as of now they don’t. Agriculture is not part of the education curriculum in Manitoba. Initiatives such as Ag in the Classroom are great, but they have limited resources and are spread thin. Manitoba needs ag education curriculum.
It’s important to note that there are Manitoba teachers who are trying to make some headway but facing an uphill battle. This past June I was invited to speak to the agriculture class at my old high school. The class was started by one of my former classmates who now teaches at the school. He told me that he basically makes up the material as he goes. He could definitely use some resources.
Back to my nephew: He mentioned that one day they made pizza. Let’s dissect that pizza. A farmer grew the wheat to make the flour that was used in that crust. A tomato farmer grew the juicy tomatoes that were used to make the sauce. Next comes the meat… and it doesn’t matter what kind of meat you throw on there… pepperoni, ham, bacon, chicken… it all comes from a farm. Last but certainly not least, the coveted cheese, which was produced by a dairy farmer. And even if you throw on any extras – pineapple, peppers, mushrooms, olives, onions, etc. – it was all grown by a farmer.
There’s no doubt that agriculture impacts us all. If you eat, you’re involved in agriculture. I believe children should be exposed to agriculture in school.
In December, the Western Producer newspaper conducted a study on ag education at schools in Manitoba and Alberta. Read the story at http://www.producer.com/News/Article.aspx?aid=42850
What do you think about this? Please share your thoughts below. I love hearing from you.