By Emily Andreiuk and Leah Koska, ACPC Summer Students
The Classroom Agriculture Program (CAP) is an educational program where volunteers teach the importance of agriculture to grade four students across Alberta. As Alberta’s population grows and fewer people have ties back to the farm, it’s really important to bring agriculture into the classroom where students have an opportunity to learn about the food they eat, where it comes from, and how it’s produced.
As part of our summer student orientation with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC), we both had the opportunity to observe a CAP presentation by Karla Bergstrom, who is the Commission’s policy analyst. Her presentation enhanced the student’s knowledge of soil and large scale crop production, with the use of videos and activities. The interactive nature of the program allowed us to see how eager the students are to understand how agriculture affects their lives – they really got a “farm-to-fork” viewpoint!
Everyone recognizes the beautiful yellow fields, but now the students know it’s canola. They were able to touch and feel the “Black Gold” oilseeds and gained an appreciation for how important canola is to Alberta’s farmers and the economy. To demonstrate how canola oil and meal are produced, the students rolled out their own canola seed strips. This activity was fun for the students and it showed them how much oil there is in the seeds and what the meal looks like.
We enjoyed the CAP presentations and learned more about the canola industry and crop production along with the students. It was impressive that the kids were able to answer many of the questions correctly, even ones we needed a refresher on! We also learned skills for working with children that are transferrable to the work we’ll be doing in our summer positions with ACPC. Some of the many benefits of the CAP program include: increased knowledge of where food comes from, how agriculture relates to the provincial curriculum, and about potential careers in agriculture…even if you do not come from a farm.
We would like to thank Karla Bergstrom and ACPC for the opportunity to see a CAP presentation in action. We had fun and learned a lot!
Alberta Canola Connects is your window into the activities of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission as we work both locally and globally to help contribute to the long term success of canola farmers in Alberta.