Lambton-Kent “Agriculture in the Classroom” committee is a group of volunteers committed to delivering curriculum based agricultural and food programs to youth in Lambton and Kent Counties free of charge. The hands-on approach to learning used by the programs we are involved with are the key to the education process. Increasing awareness of the agri-food industry continues to be the mandate of the committee. It is our belief that the students become better educated consumers in the future. As farmers, we have failed in the past to tell our story, and this provides us with an avenue to do so.
Harvest Days takes place at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in late September, early October over seven days. This program targets Grade 3 students mostly in Chatham-Kent. The students explore, through hands-on activities, Early Settlers, A Day in the Dairy, Soil and Seeds, and “I Spy” Agriculture. Pre and post activities, including classroom activities, are provided to the teachers.
Spring Days takes place in early June at the Animal Farm in Canatara Park in Sarnia. This program targets Grade 4 students in Sarnia-Lambton and covers such topics as Simple Machines, Living with Farm Animals, and Farm Foods for Healthy Living. This program runs over four days each year. NEW for 2016 is that the program is being extended one more day!
As a member of the Science Education Partnership with the Lambton Kent District School Board and the St. Clair District Catholic School Board, Lambton-Kent “Agriculture in the Classroom” donates funds to assist in maintaining the farm animals and soil science kits for use in the classroom as it relates to the Ontario curriculum. We also have an “Adopt A Farmer” program where students have the ability to virtually tour a farm via means of Skype or Facetime to the classroom smartboard. This program is becoming popular both within the Boards and beyond our Boards.
Lambton-Kent “Agriculture in the Classroom’s” only fundraiser to put on these programs is through our annual Gala fundraiser held at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph in the early spring of each year called “A Taste of Lambton-Kent”. This multi-course meal is an overwhelming success and includes wonderful food creations thanks to the Campus Chef Raymond. The silent and live auctions make for an interesting evening of fun and help us to raise funds for our organization. The generous sponsorship and ticket sales from this event help fund our education efforts throughout the year. Over the years, we have had excellent community support with donations assisting the committee in providing agricultural awareness to the consumers of tomorrow.