ONTARIO – It’s local food week — June 7-13 — a week also coinciding with the release of Ontario’s Local Food Report. But the event kickoff also saw kudos for AgScape, promoter of agricultural literacy in schools. AgScape is offering Ontario youth with daily fun through informative digital learning activities all week long.
“When we teach students and youth about how our food is grown and the importance of agriculture, we help nurture Ontario’s farming and agri-food leaders of the future,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Oxford.
“For 30 years, AgScape has been grateful to receive essential funding from OMAFRA, empowering our team to develop innovative programs and opportunities to attract students to the world of agriculture and food,” said Kathryn Doan, AgScape Board Chairperson. “The support OMAFRA has provided us this school year, has allowed us to be agile at an unprecedented time when the educational landscape continues to shift as we navigate COVID-19 realities.”
AgScape recognizes the teachers who help to bring knowledge of local food and agriculture to their students, and Jack Verrips, a teacher at College Avenue Secondary School in Woodstock, was this year’s honoree. Organizers cited his belief in AgScape’s “mission to empower Ontario students with impartial and accurate information to increase awareness of the agri-food system and ignite interest in related careers.”
The recipient said it was important to “educate our young people so that they know that agriculture is the basis of almost every part of their life.”
“When we teach students and youth about how our food is grown and the importance of agriculture, we help nurture Ontario’s farming and agri-food leaders of the future,” said Hardeman, expressing his congratulations to Verrips for his well-deserved congratulations and recognition “for his fantastic work inspiring our budding farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.”
Friday, June 11, 2021 is the final day to book a Teacher Ambassador lesson for this school year. AgScape lessons, delivered by Ontario Certified Teachers, are available free of charge to all grade 7-12 classrooms, thanks to the support of our donors.
AgScape has launched of the 8th Edition of Ontario Local Food Week Programs for Youth and Teachers. A host of free Local Food Week Activities are available online. From Virtual Food and Farm Field Trip, in partnership with Farm & Food Care Ontario, to daily engaging online activities that are accessible to all, a professional development workshop for educators, and the launch of a new podcast resource for teachers and students.
Featured online games boast creative interactive functions such as matching and connecting terminology, and creating visual storyboards, participants will be able to expand their knowledge of agriculture and the origins of food.
The Virtual Food and Farm Field Trips showcase local farmers and producers who work hard to bring us the local food enjoyed across our province. Virtual field trips provide teachers and students the opportunity to connect in real time with Ontario producers to explore where their food comes from as well as the many careers offered by the agriculture and food sector.