During a tour of the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in Ottawa, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced new funding for Agriculture in the Classroom Canada of up to $953,260 over two years.
The program will use that money to focus on the Agricommunication program, a three-year, up to $8-million federal initiative that will focus specifically on supporting activities that increase appreciation and pride in the contributions of farmers and the food industry and enhance public trust.
The AITC is also rolling out a new digital campaign that sets out to "inform and excite the next generation of Canada’s big thinkers, decision-makers and leaders in agriculture".
“Young people are key to ensuring future success of the agricultural sector. We must help them discover vast career possibilities from a young age," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, "I applaud the incredible work that Agriculture in the Classroom is doing to connect tomorrow’s leaders to the agriculture and agri-food sector and spark interest in this important work.”
The "I Am Agriculture" campaign will strive to showcase the vastness of the agriculture industry, and help students identify the different and unique roles they play as well as increase student knowledge of agricultural practices through a new website page, videos, and social campaign.
This funding will also support the second year of The Great Canadian Farm Tour beginning in April 2023. For six weeks, AITC-C will bring Canadian classrooms virtually into farms from across the country.
“Our ongoing collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has been critical in supporting our goal to inspire students across Canada to play a role in our country’s agriculture and food future,” said Sara Shymko, AITC-C Acting Executive Director. “With this generous contribution from the AgriCommunication Program, AITC-C can bring this messaging into a farther-reaching, digital space. With 1 in 9 jobs in Canada in the agriculture and agri-food sector and a growing labour shortage, it’s critical that the next generation of our work force consider agriculture as a viable, exciting, and meaningful career path.”