My AdvancingAg journey is off to a great start! This September I was able to participate in an event called ‘City Slickers,’ which is held out in Parkland County, Alberta. The City Slickers program works with Edmonton-area schools and brings over 1000 children from grades 4 and 5 out to Parkland County farms to learn about where their food comes from and the farm life! This is a truly amazing event, involving over 150 volunteers every year. It provides these kids with hands on, authentic learning experiences. Many of them have never been on a farm before and don't understand the basic processes behind where their food comes from. Many have never even seen a cow up close! This event gives them a safe place to learn, ask questions, and be engaged in agriculture. It was amazing to see the interaction from these kids, the questions, and the genuine interest they expressed about the farm. There are many industry representatives that come together to help educate kids in a fun and interactive way through this event.
One of my goals through the AdvancingAg program is to be more involved in educating young kids about agriculture and help shape future leaders in the industry. I think a great place to start is by giving them the opportunity to be on an Alberta farm, showing them how to plant a seed in the dirt, and what it takes to grow this seed into something we can eat. I'd like to help them understand where their food comes from, and make this learning fun! I believe there is a lack of education about agriculture for young kids, and that this has caused much of the disconnect we see today between producers and consumers. If we can help bridge that gap starting at a young age and encourage careers and engagement in our industry, we can grow and foster a positive experience with agriculture. I am looking forward to sharing my experience in many upcoming opportunities through the program and to learn and advocate for our industry!
Seen above: Little Potato Company’s booth for the farm portion of City Slickers out at Dercam Farms. Kids are digging in the dirt for potatoes and learning how to grow them!