From water barrel races to full-contact jousting, Canadian Western Agribition is boasting all kinds of new events this year. Included in that line-up is the thinkAg Career and Education Expo, which launched November 26, 2014.
“The agriculture industry offers challenging and exciting careers in a number of different fields,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This event will allow youth to see first-hand the variety of opportunities that exist, and encourage more youth to look seriously at a career in agriculture.”
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I stopped in yesterday, to see what it was like and, while there, I took the opportunity to talk to Krystal Aulie, who was heavily involved in seeing the event through to fruition. Aulie is positive about the future of the Expo, hoping it will expand in capacity and presentation topics.
“We would love to expand. There’s a lot of moving parts to this Expo, because we have so many volunteer organizations who are spending time with these students. We would love to have more students in. There’s the demand for it; we’re having to turn teachers away already even in this first year. So we don’t want to have to do that anymore.”
The Expo will bring in over 200 students over two days, giving them the opportunity to explore various job opportunities in agriculture through hands-on, interactive activities. It doesn’t much resemble the traditional career fairs, as students are divided into groups and rotated through stations, seeing and feeling agriculture in a new light at every table.
The Expo is funded through Growing Forward 2, with student lunches provided by Cargill.
You can hear more about the Expo by listening to the following audio, which includes my full interview with Aulie, as well as some thoughts from two of the students involved, and the teacher who encouraged them to attend.