Hands-on farm learning for students

Hundreds visit Harvest Showdown

Hundreds of students from across the city and region took in the Grain Millers Harvest Showdown as a learning opportunity.

The Mosaic School Tours focused on two groups, Grade 4s and 7s, with stations set up throughout the show area providing information on various aspects of the agriculture industry.

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Sheri Grant, a beef producer from Val Marie was one of those talking to students. She said she made the trip from southern Saskatchewan to talk beef because she sees education as critical.

“I think it’s really important students start understanding more about their food,” she offered.

Grant said there is a correlation between what we consume and how our body perform, and we need to teach youth about what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet.

That is especially true in light of a new Canada Food Guide, said Grant, who said beef can still be a part of a good healthy diet, and that was part of her message to the Grade 7 students.

“I hope it gets them to thinking more critically about all the things they hear,” she said, adding it’s good to question things one sees and reads and to investigate the validity of statements and research.

Kendra Simon, vice-principal at Victoria School in Kamsack said bringing students made sense because it ties directly back to aspects of what they teach in the classroom.

“It connects to their curriculum,” she said. “It goes with learning about plants, soils and seeds.”

Simon said the attendance at the Yorkton event is only one hands-on experience the school introduces students to.

“We take part in a tour at Lindgren Farms at Norquay and have a school garden the student’s plant and harvest,” she said.

While most students at the Kamsack School still have ties to farming, it is important to reinforce knowledge regarding food production, said Simon.

“They definitely know where food comes from, but it’s still a learning experience for a lot of students,” she said.

Mike Andrusko is a teacher from Sturgis School. He too suggested students need the hands-on opportunity to better understand about what they eat.

“It links them to their food,” he said.

Students from North Valley in Neudorf are generally farm kids, but teacher Twila Riffel said there was still value in the Harvest Showdown event.

“We tie this back to the curriculum is a number of different ways,” she said.

Not all school students are directly connected to farms anymore either.

Bonnie Pendleton brought a class of 26 students from St. Michael’s School to the tour Thursday, and only one had a farm background.

It helps that Yorkton is surrounded by farming, literally, but getting to see, and touch baby chicks, alpacas, calves, sheep, pigs and horses, give students a different perspective of their food.

“It’s part of our curriculum but lots of our city kids never get to really experience the farm,” she said.

For additional Harvest Showdown coverage check out; Farmer Recognition Award winner, chore team competition, Clydesdale Cup winner, students tour event, unique jams and jellies, commercial cattle show, Council herds sheep, horse pulls

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