b'For info on Agriculture in the Classroom, including how to get involved or donate, visit aitc-canada.ca or aitc.mb.caAG IN THE CLASSROOM BENEFITS STUDENTS, TEACHERS ALIKENew seed kit distributed to schools across Manitoba; 10 provincial branches now in operation.Marc ZienkiewiczWHEN BRENT DERKATCHdecided to join the board of Agriculture in the Classrooms Manitoba branch (AITC-M), it was with not just students in mind, but those who teach them, too.Its not just kids who sometimes have the wrong idea about what we do in ag. Teachers are often exposed to misinformation as well. Or theyre simply not exposed to agriculture on a daily basis, says Derkatch, director of the pedi-greed seed business unit for Canterra Seeds. By giving teachers valuable insights into how food is producedindustry volunteers really help do thisAgriculture in the Classroom has a much better chance of getting the right infor-mation in front of young students.Sue Clayton agrees. Shes executive director for AITC-M, which recently unveiled its new seed kits to elementary schools across the province. The kit features seeds from 15 prominent Manitoba crops,Agriculture in the Classrooms Manitoba branch recently unveiled its new seed kits to as well as a video and a variety of hands-onschools across the province. Photo courtesy AITC-Mactivities for students to do in the classroom.The more that teachers are able to under- great engagement with the kids. THE IMPACT OF stand and value the contribution of agriculture toIts been a busy year for Agriculture in theAGRICULTUREsociety, and the more they realize the opportuni- Classroom from a national perspective, too.IN THE ties that there are for students in the ag indus- In March, AITC Canada premiered The GreatCLASSROOMtry, it really just benefits the whole educationCanadian Farm Tour, a month-long, virtual fieldIN CANADAsystem, Clayton says. trip for educators and students to connect with2 million+ Derkatch has been an active volunteer in thereal farmers across Canada.student seed industry, as well as AITC-M, for many years,With 10 provincial branches (Quebec is theexperiences and looks forward to giving back to the industrymost recent province to join the fold), AITCin agriculture by supporting ag education through his role onCanada is gearing up for a busy year. Executiveeducationthe board and engaging with students. Director Johanne Ross says the pandemic helpedin 2021You cant just go through a slide deck ofincrease AITCs national reach. A new virtual pictures; young kids need something interactiveplatform is in the works for teachers to access in28,973 students that they can actually look at and touch. Thenorder to deliver learning into the classroom. across Canada you can talk about all the ways seed is importantIt opens up a whole new world of opportunityparticipated to their lives, Derkatch says.for us to post courses for teachers, assignments forin Little Green I like to ask questions like, Does anybodystudents, videos, you name it, Ross says.Thumbs like eating McDonalds french fries? Then whenAITC is also revamping its thinkAG careerclassroom they put their hand up you can say, Did youexploration initiative. Students can use thegardening know that french fries from McDonalds are allthinkag.ca website to discover which ag-relatedprogramcooked with canola oil? Thats when you getcareer they might be most suited to. 44GERMINATION.CAJULY 2022'