|Bringing the class to the farm|
Bringing the class to the farm
With every generation fewer Saskatchewan people have a direct connection to the land. A new program is taking students on the road to learn more about farming.
It's a field trip to the farmyard for grade 7 and 8 students from Saskatoon's St. Augustine School. They're visiting four farms as part of the Real Dirt on Farming Tours Program. This stop has them at the Greschuk mixed farm and feedlot operation near Elstow.
Joey Gates/Saskatoon Student: "We've been learning how these farms work and everything that happens in them and how interesting it is. It's pretty cool learning about stuff like this."
Sparking interest in agriculture is what the tour is all about.
Along with the visit to a mixed farm, the tour includes stops at a dairy, a potato farm and a hog operation. Call it agricultural immersion 101 where students get the chance to experience a living classroom in rural Saskatchewan.
Karen Omelan-Davis/Saskatoon Teacher: "We live in a very kind of secure society. And if they do not have an opportunity to go to a farm, they would not exactly know what goes on out here."
The program helps students not only learn about agriculture but also about the industry's historic importance to Saskatchewan's development.
Sarah Shymko/Agriculture in the Classroom: "It's the foundation of what this province was built on. And it's still the foundation of what happens today. And agriculture affects everybody, from the clothes that you wear, to the cars that you drive, to the food that you eat."
Biosecurity issues make it difficult for the general public to get a clear understanding about some farming operations. That's why the students are brought to the Pork Interpretive Gallery near Elstow. The Gallery has been built above a hog barn, operated by the Prairie Swine Research Centre. Students can see what goes on in pork production without putting the barn at risk.
Kayla Parkalub/Saskatoon Student: "They sit in little pens by themselves and they just ind of hang out. So does this make you want to become a farmer at all? A little bit yes. I think it would be fun to work with animals."
So it's mission accomplished. The program plans more tours in June and September.
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