Teaching Students from an Agricultural Perspective
By Dr. Melissa Moggy
Rocky View School students have a unique opportunity to close the gap between the public and agriculture through attending class at The Farm. Grade nine, 10, and 11 Rocky View School students can apply to the program, and 40 students are selected. Students are taught their curriculum from an agricultural perspective in a portable classroom on The Farm. Relationships with the community and partners anchor the program. AFAC is a member of The Farm’s advisory committee and has had the opportunity to see this program grow.
Wayne and Rhonda Hanson, owners of ‘Your Local Ranch,’ volunteer their land to the program. In addition to two portable buildings, the students and teachers have added pigs, goats, turkeys, and layer hens to The Farm. Students complete farm chores, learn to manage, market and operate agri-business ventures and engage in research and projects in an environment that will foster the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Farm’s location exposes the students to a broad spectrum of agricultural practices and approaches. Students learn to operate a small business in the following areas: Small Livestock, Vegetable and Herb Production, Cereal Grains, Pulses, and Oilseeds. Students learn how to operate, manage, market their product and their operation, and consider how their business fits within a larger picture of environmental impact and economic and social sustainability.
Students also learn about agricultural practices as they apply to backyard, urban environments, and up to large scale farming operations. Students interested in caring for the laying hens attended AFAC’s Urban Hen Workshop in 2019. In 2020, The Farm welcomed livestock, and the students had a big role to play. Students and teachers researched and built appropriate housing for the animals.
The community has welcomed The Farm with open arms. Many of the animals and supplies were donated by community members. In our last advisory meeting, a wish list was shared of items that The Farm hopes to have donated or to find at a reduced cost. We share this list with you in hopes that you may have some of these items collecting dust on your operation.
If you would like to contribute to The Farm, please contact [email protected].
To keep up with The Farm, follow them on the following social media platforms or visit their website at www.rvsthefarm.ca.
Twitter = @rvsthefarm1 https://twitter.com/rvsthefarm1
Instagram = https://www.instagram.com/rvsthefarm/
The Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta for Canadian Agricultural Partnership Grant funding has made The Farm a possibility. The Board of Trustees of Rocky View Schools and others at Rocky View Schools have supplied ongoing support of the program.