RealAg LIVE! with Johanne Ross of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada

If there’s anyone that’s knowledgable and passionate about agriculture education, it’s Johanne Ross, of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada.

For today’s RealAg LIVE! Ross joins Kara Oosterhuis for a chat about how AITC-C started, what its goals are, and where it’s going in the future.

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!


  • Manitoba has fun town names
  • 200 head of Simmental cattle, by Minnedosa, Man.
  • Johanne has been with AITC-C for over 20 years
  • It’s the best of both worlds for her because although she has her degree in ag, she also considered teaching
  • Provincial organizations were actually in place before the national organization
  • In 2010, misconceptions on social media swirling around, AITC-C started talking about it a lot
  • Bringing a national identity to agriculture in education needed a national organization, each curriculum is up to the provinces, not the federal government
  • CALM, or Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (happening right NOW), is anything but calm, it’s an opportunity to visit classrooms (under normal circumstances) and talk to students of all ages
  • Age categories?
  • Teaching tools, experiences, or classroom demos are always linked back to a core curriculum. Agriculture isn’t actually a core curriculum
  • Canadian educator matrix tool is accessible to teachers to select a subject for a specific grade and can download information
  • Ready made lesson plans!
  • Voices, faces, authenticity; getting people from agriculture into classrooms to share stories
  • “The people are our program”
  • Volunteers can be any age. Anybody who’s interested is encouraged to reach out
  • Still work to do to the Territories and the Yukon, but it’s in progress
  • Public trust has changed. Johanne sees an appetite for information about agriculture within students. They’re more eager to have a career that has the potential to make changes
  • Being part of this conversation should no longer be a “charitable” component, it should be part of a business plan
  • Need everybody on board telling their story. Lots of difficult questions get asked in classrooms
  • Not just rural, city centres too. Reached over 2 million students across Canada last year and most of those students are in urban centres
  • The framework for agriculture education: every student at some point during their primary and secondary education, will have an agriculture experience. That’s the goal
  • Think. Know. Feel. Excited.
  • Communications literacy is really important. Critical thinking too. Confidence to speak up.

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