Ag in the Classroom Canada to receive up to $1.6 million in federal funding

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay with Ag in the Classroom’s Laurie Loane and Christa Wright, and students at Montague Consolidated School in Montague, PEI. (Source: @AITCCanada; Twitter)

Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) is set to receive a major programming boost via the federal government.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced today that Agriculture in the Classroom Canada has been approved for up to $1.6 million in funding for its programming.

The funding is through the AgriCompetitiveness Program, and will be available over two years.

“It is absolutely essential that young Canadians understand where their food comes from,” says Minister Bibeau. “They must know what farmers’ work consists of and how hard they work to take care of their animals and our environment in order to provide us with high-quality food. I encourage our young people to take an interest in the many job opportunities available to them on farms and in mechanics, electronics and engineering, science, animal and plant health and much more! I applaud the Agriculture in the Classroom Canada team for their outstanding work and celebrate Agriculture Literacy Month with them.”

The announcement marks the launch of one of AITC-C’s flagship initiatives, Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM), now in its tenth year.

The funding will help AITC-C offer innovative teaching tools and initiatives to provide accurate and consistent on Canadian agriculture to students, according to the organization. Current and new agriculture awareness tools will be expanded on, including snapAG fact sheets, the Little Green Thumbs school gardening program, a national rollout of the “Business of Food” teacher training program, CALM, and Journey 2050 virtual farm presentations.

Johanne Ross, executive director of AITC-C says the organization is thrilled to continue their strong collaboration with AAFC with a further cash contribution through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership.

“AAFC is a true champion of agriculture education across the nation and together, we are elevating towards our vision of bringing agriculture to every classroom, inspiring every student. AITC-C’s inquiry-based, curriculum-linked resources and programs, delivered through our 10 provincial member organizations, will affect real advancement in the sharing of Canada’s incredible agriculture and food story,” says Ross.

The investment represents a 50 per cent increase in AITC-C’s annual funding, is pending the signing of a contribution agreement. Ross says it will help AITC-C leverage current and new sector partnerships to provide accurate, balanced, and current agri-food learning in schools across the country.

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