Teaching Ontario’s youth about food and the career opportunities in agri-business should be an important component of their education.
When you pick up an apple or a loaf of bread from the grocery store, do you ever stop to wonder where it came from? With the science of modern food production growing exponentially and recent breakthroughs in genomics and environmental stewardship, the way that food is brought to our tables today isn’t quite as simple as in the old days. This has resulted in a disconnect between the agri-food industry and consumers.
AgScape, a charity that has been leading agriculture and food literacy in Ontario classrooms for over 30 years, is on a mission to change that.
The importance of creating food-literate citizens
“Young Canadians are inundated with media campaigns that can shame, coerce, or even mislead about nutrition and modern food production,” says Taylor Selig, AgScape’s Executive Director. “Combined with the fact that fewer Canadians than ever live or work within agriculture and that it’s not an essential component of the school curriculum, this has created a perfect storm for misconceptions to take root.”
AgScape is dedicated to providing awareness on the importance of agriculture and food education, and the charity is focused on educating our next generation of leaders — today’s youth. Young people are becoming increasingly disconnected from modern agriculture, and so they don’t have a clear idea of our food industry or the opportunities available to them within it. As the agri-food industry is a dynamic field bursting with technological innovations and opportunities, it’s important to expose students to the possibilities.
Connecting classrooms with agri-food perspectives
AgScape’s creative programming and resources are bringing this educational imperative to Ontario students. Through its Teacher Ambassador Program, AgScape brings Ontario-certified teachers that it has trained in food and agriculture into classrooms to design and lead educational programming. This engages youth to be global citizens, thinkers, and innovators who will further the sustainability of our food systems and the planet.
Camp AgScape, a virtual camp experience, offers a daily schedule of activities to connect youth to various agriculture and food themes while they’re learning from home. AgScape’s Business of Food is a comprehensive online professional development platform that allows educators, post-secondary students, and agri-food businesses to enhance their knowledge and understanding of agriculture and food. AgScape also hosts the Feeding Innovation Podcast, which interviews innovators in the world of agriculture and food education within Ontario.
Shining a light on Canada’s agri-food sector
Thanks to the inspiring generosity and commitment of its supporters and partners, AgScape’s programming is available to teachers and students for free. As demand for this programming continues to increase, AgScape needs your support to build that outreach.
The charity’s vision is a world where the agri-food sector is recognized as a vehicle for positive social, economic, and environmental impact. It’s dedicated to its mission of empowering Ontario students with impartial, accurate information to increase awareness of the agri-food system and ignite interest in related careers.
“There’s no better time to reach Canadians and open their eyes to the marvels of modern agriculture,” says Selig. “Canadians have so much to be thankful for, and appreciation for the abundance of safe and healthy food begins with an education about the innovation and hard work at the heart of Canada’s agriculture and food sector.”