Students from across Canada participate in virtual event hosted by Ag in the Classroom Canada

There are numerous career opportunities within the agriculture sector.

That’s the message from Agriculture in the Classroom Canada to high school students as part of Career Month in Canada.

Ag in the Classroom recently partnered with McCain Foods and to kick off Career Month held a virtural panel event featuring 4 McCain employees, who shared their experiences and insights to inspire students to consider a career in Agriculture.

Interim Executive Director of Ag in the Classroom Sara Shymko says it had more than 33-hundred students across Canada participate.

“Our numbers actually crept up and we ended up with 75 classrooms participating, and I think about a third of them were Saskatchewan schools. We really promoted the event hard here in Saskatchewan,” Shymko said. “We have a lot of uptake from teachers all across the province for agriculture education programs and they really jumped at the opportunity to bring something different into the classroom than they’ve done in the past.”

She admits it’s hard to measure how engaged the students were in a virtual event but still felt it was good overall.

“We have a survey out right now with the teachers so we’ll learn more as they fill it in. Based on the initial comments that we had from some of the teachers that shared their comments with us, we were pretty happy with how it went,” Shymko said. “I think virtual experiences are a great way to reach students in remote and rural areas across the province; they aren’t always able to come to some of our in-person events like our Think Ag Expo that we hold at Agribition every year, for example.”

Sustainability, and the importance of using technology and innovation to be sustainable,  was one of the topic covered in the virtual event, noted Shymko.

She believes sharing the ins-and-outs of agriculture to students is extremely important.

“The students who are in high school today, they soon are going to be choosing where they want to go to university, what careers they’re going to have, what foods they’re going to buy, who they’re going to vote for, who they’re going to work for, and they really are our future employers, decision-makers, leaders, and innovators sitting in the classroom today,” she said. “We really need them to be a part of agriculture in the future and it is incredibly important that they start thinking about agriculture as an innovative, cool place to be, because there’s going to be a big competition for the future workforce, and if we want agriculture to remain innovative and strong and dynamic, then we need to make sure that we are inviting young people to be a part of our exciting industry.”

You can find the virtual panel event on the Ag in the Classroom Canada Youtube page.

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