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Well, exam season is upon us and as you can tell by the lack of blog posts the last few weeks, I have been busy! Studying and finishing end of year assignments has been taking up a lot of my time but there is one assignment in particular that I am really excited to tell you guys about!
Through one of my classes at the college, I got to take part in a very interesting and exciting volunteer experience.
In the Agriculture Technology program, Leadership and Communication Skills is one of the required courses and much as the course name suggests, it is heavily rooted in developing leadership and public speaking skills. Through that class, my classmates and I were introduced to an initiative started by Alberta Beef Producers that is a great outlet to use the skills learned from the class, along with our shared passion for agriculture. The initiative I am speaking of is aimed at educating elementary school students on agriculture- and you know how much I love agricultural education!
We touched on topics such as the differences between farming and ranching, the different uses of dogs on the farm and what our daily lives would be like without agriculture. Jayme even brought in her 6 month old Border collie puppy for the students to say hi to. Tragger was quite a hit with the kids, I must say.
I think that the part of the presentation that had the biggest impact on the kids was our description of what our day to day lives would be without agriculture. We began this exercise by getting the students to talk about their day to day routines and the different things they use throughout the day. After we had compiled a large list of items from what was in their bagged lunch, to the equipment they use to play hockey, we slowly began crossing off items that require some form of agricultural input. By the end, after every single item was crossed off, the students had a very vivid image of all the things they would have to go without if agriculture did not exist. The reactions from the students were dramatic and kind of funny. One girl exclaimed “I can’t live like this anymore!” Another little boy claimed that all we would be able to do is play video games. When I explained to him that the plastic that his gaming consoles were made out of contained animal by-products as well, his jaw hit the floor.
Even if the facts didn’t sink in, all the students understood the impact of agriculture on their lives for even just a few minutes and seeing their reactions was very rewarding. Of course we had a little fun. We dressed a few students up and showed a few agricultural parodies and the students enjoyed it enough to ask if we were coming back tomorrow. In just one short hour, my partner in crime and I were able to excite a few students about agriculture and teach them a little bit about the hand that feeds them. If I can make it work, I would love to volunteer next year and go talk to another Gr. 4 class. I can honestly say that the presentation was a blast for both the presenters and the audience.
If you want to get involved in presenting or if you know of a class that would benefit from a presentation, feel free to check out the CAP website at: