STUDENTS & AGRICULTURE

Building a better future starts from the bottom up! That’s why we champion agriculture in the classroom by sharing resources, providing CAP presentations, and supporting ongoing education for role models and producers alike. Having more folks supporting a sustainable future is important for not only us, but the countless other species relying on how we choose to manage the land. Students that are exposed to agricultural education are more aware of the supply chain and what it takes to bring goods home, and will help them make more sustainable choices throughout their lives.  

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is working to meet the demands of sustainable sourcing in a single document, acting as a producer’s commitment to sustainable agriculture. While there are currently many benefits to completing an EFP and implementing the improvements identified, there is also space for greater profits, reduced costs, increased access to government funding and to national/international markets, as well as preservation of land, water and air quality. Major purchasers are beginning to demand products that are sustainably sourced and for some, completing an EFP is the proof that they need.

Alberta EFP provides resources for students and instructors in agricultural programs at post-secondary institutes across the province. These range from a demonstration workbook to technical videos and topics that assist in the completion of the demonstration workbook. But our offerings aren’t the only thing out there for agricultural education. Check out these resources, lesson plans and more from other organizations and non-profits, locally and nationally!

We also encourage post-secondary institutions to explore the prospect of completing an EFP for their student farm. To do so, the program must register through the Alberta EFP office.

THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE

Agriculture’s future is “sustainable agriculture.” But what exactly does this mean? Really, it depends on who you are.

For many people it means smallholders and small plots of land. But the reality in developed nations is quite different. In countries like Canada, the USA and Australia, with lots of land and large farms, we use technology. This allows us to produce more food, with fewer people. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, calls this “sustainable intensification.” To make things more complicated, sustainable agriculture incorporates social and economic dimensions on top of the environmental one. As an agriculture student who will be involved in the future of agriculture, you have a responsibility to be aware of sustainability issues (such as sustainable sourcing). These will affect you whether you become a farmer, work in the crop or livestock sector, become an agri-business specialist, or become a veterinarian.

Agricultural Programs in Alberta

Lakeland College

Lakeland College

The first post-secondary in Alberta to complete a full scale EFP. Students from both crops and livestock programs worked together during the Winter 2015 term on an assessment of their student-managed farm. They also began implementation of their plan. Future Lakeland students will continue this work and conduct periodic reviews and updates to the plan.
Lethbridge College

Lethbridge College

The two-year (four-term) Agriculture Sciences diplomas at Lethbridge College provides theoretical and hands-on training for students entering into numerous career option in agriculture or transferring to other agriculture degree programs.
Olds College

Olds College

The Agricultural Management program will give students a comprehensive education that will allow them to work in production agriculture, agribusinesses, or businesses that process, market and distribute products from agriculture. Students will gain skills in crops and livestock, finance, agri-business management, marketing and the latest technology so you can be successful in driving any area of agriculture forward.
University of Lethbridge

University of Lethbridge

The Agricultural Studies program is multidisciplinary in nature, including courses in Agricultural Studies, Biological Sciences, Economics and Geography, among others. Students study in lab-extensive settings that combine practical experience with an emphasis on current issues and relevant research.
UofA ALES

UofA ALES

BSc in Agriculture, Major in Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Knowledge about individual components of agricultural systems (including people, plants, animals and soil, water and other resources) has expanded rapidly, but less is known about how these systems work as a whole.

EDUCATION RESOURCES

Elementary Resources 

Alberta Beef Producers

From stories about beef to stewardship in the beef industry there are activities here for students from Kindergarten to Grade 5! Check out these free resources and incorporate agriculture and learning about the food chain with your class!

Ag For Life

Ag for Life lists a bunch of programs from other delivery partners and includes links to Rural Safety and Farm Safety! Definitely worth looking into! 

Alberta Sugar Beet Growers

Coloring pages for younger students are available here, as well as some resources to help teach students about a source of sugar! Really cool stuff, so be sure to give it a click. 

Agriculture in the Classroom 

Ag in the Classroom has a lot of in the can activities and lesson plans to check out if you’re looking for something to do. Their programs are age specific and engage curriculum topics to help bring ag to every classroom. 

Learn Canola

With programs for students from Kindergarten through to Grade 9, there’s a little bit for everyone. Students can learn about the process of growing a crop like canola, and the risks associated with crop disease! Really cool resources so be sure to head over and review them. 

Potato Growers of Alberta

Check out the SPUDS IN TUBS program through the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA)! Plus so many experiments, art projects and ways to eat potatoes! Spuds are truly versatile and the PGA want you to know! Dive in and learn about the potato industry from farmers and so much more. 

Government of Alberta Resource List 

Many more exciting resources are listed under this Government of Alberta link!

  

Jr and Sr High Resources 

Beef Cattle Research Council 

The BCBC has really helpful tools for producers, but that are just as effective if you’re teaching your students about carrying capacity and environmental stewardship! Be sure to share the BCBC’s calculators and resources with your students to learn about sustainability, fostering the land, the beef industry and more!  

Alberta Beef Producers

Not just for little kids, the Alberta Beef Producers have recipes for foods classes, all including background information! Find these easy to use recipe cards and chat with your students about the beef industry and opportunities to source food from farm to table!

Agriculture in the Classroom

Not only for younger students, Ag in the Classroom has some great resources and activities for students in their upper years too! Check them out!

Alberta Sugar Beet Growers

Whether it’s growing beets in your classroom, exploring GMOs or running through a financial activity with your students, the sugar beet industry is an exciting one, and one that isn’t always top of mind! Students are sure to learn something new. With resources about the production cycle and introductions to sugar beet growing, to harvest stories, there in a story to tell, and learn about! 

Caring for Our Watersheds

This is a competition for students from Grades 7-12 that will award real cash $$ money to schools for participating, and the winning submissions will be funded to help support their watershed. There are many agriculture related projects that can be created that will benefit the local environment and producers alike! This competition is interdisciplinary, meaning it can easily fit in with many different class topics, from math, to art, to social studies and more! 

Potato Growers of Alberta

Growing potatoes is for anyone! Sign up to grow SPUDS IN TUBS with your class and learn more about the industry. Plus science experiments and recipes for foods classes, the Potato Growers of Alberta offer some great free resources for classrooms across the province!

Government of Alberta Resource List

Many more exciting resources are listed under this Government of Alberta link!

  

Continuing Education Resources 

Assiniboine Community College 

Check out what the Assiniboine Community College has to offer! From commercial manure application to pesticide applicator courses, they have continuing education that will support any producer. 

Lakeland College 

Lakeland College supports the pesticide applicator’s course. Interested in further education? Check them out. 

Soil Lab Modules

Looking to better understand soil health? This helpful resource is available to help shed some light on the topic, from nutrient management to potential erosion and risk factors, this resource touches on a little bit of everything to set you on the right path. 

Alberta Working Well Resources

Joining in on one of the FREE Working Well Workshops or accessing any of their resources is a great way to learn more about an existing well, whether you’ve always been aware of it or you’ve just purchased a property with a well. Knowing the Best Management Practices for wells will help you protect water quality and benefit you and your family. 

Dugout Aeration 

This government resource may be old, but it is what the 310-FARM water specialist still recommends. The quality of the information is vital to share when considering on farm water quality. Whether the dugout is your source for livestock, your household water supply, or just there for emergencies, it is a great idea to do what you can to protect it now and into the future.