By Lethbridge Herald on April 15, 2015.
They hail from many nations. And relatively few of the youngsters have lived on a farm.
But at the cityâ€™s southside Lakeview School, students are learning first-hand how important agriculture is to southern Albertans.
On Tuesday, a Grade 4 class showed that awareness during an event previewing this yearâ€™s Aggie Days, running April 28 and 29 at Exhibition Park. Girls and boys spoke up to answer questions about food and farming, to the applause of members of the news media on hand to learn details of Exhibition Parkâ€™s ninth Aggie Days presentation.
More than 30 ag-related learning exhibits have already been confirmed, reported event spokesperson Doug Kryzanowski. Theyâ€™ll include sheep shearing, rope making, butter churning and safety lessons.
There will also be a stock dog demonstration, wool spinning, a petting zoo, an â€œAg for Lifeâ€ rollover simulator from Safety City and many more.
The event is co-sponsored by the UFAâ€ˆfarmersâ€™ co-op, in partnership with a dozen local businesses. Itâ€™s free to the public, he pointed out, and more than 40 classes from urban and rural schools have already signed up to participate. Doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
For Lakeview teacher Marlin Howg, Aggie Days has become an essential part of the Grade 4 curriculum.
â€œThe children are asking good questions,â€ starting with where their food is really coming from.
Now theyâ€™re also learning about better farming practices, about how important todayâ€™s technological advances have become, and about the importance of farm safety procedures.
â€œAnd they realize the expenses involved in farming,â€ he notes.
Howg says the students also grasp the economic impact food production has for jobs and families across southern Alberta. When prompted, most children in his classes identify someone they know whoâ€™s involved directly or indirectly in agriculture.
â€œItâ€™s in my veins,â€â€ˆhe adds, with his farm roots stretching back 120 years.
So he encourages teachers across the city to consider getting their students involved.
â€œIt is a really enjoyable, hands-on opportunity for students to learn about our wonderful agricultural resources.â€