Big changes are coming to Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba’s leadership.

Effective September 30, 2022, Katharine Cherewyk will step into the role of Acting Executive Director for Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba (AITC-M). Katharine will replace Sue Clayton, who leaves our organization on September 29 to become the new Director of the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba.  

AITC-M’s Board of Directors will initiate a process to select the permanent Executive Director and will have more to share about this process in the weeks ahead. 
On behalf of AITC-M’s board, I want to thank Sue Clayton for her incredible leadership over the past seven and a half years. Under her direction, AITC-M has strategically positioned itself as a trusted bridge between our province’s agriculture industry and the young minds sitting in countless Manitoba classrooms who will become tomorrow’s consumers, decision-makers, agricultural professionals, and innovators. 
Sue not only expanded the AITC-M team; she ensured policies and processes grew along with that expansion, ensuring our organization had the capacity to meet a rising demand for its programs and resources. She set the organization’s strategic priorities, which formed a valuable way to measure the success of programs and resources.

Among her many accomplishments, Sue introduced the Six Pillars of Agricultural Literacy framework to AITC-M and adapted it to the Manitoba school curriculum. While COVID-19 proved a formidable hurdle for many organizations, Sue and her team pivoted critical AITC-M programs to virtual delivery, transforming a challenge into an opportunity to reach even more Manitoba students and teachers in remote communities.  

Under Sue’s leadership, AITC-M’s annual operating budget increased from $650,000 to $1.1 million, all of which was raised through donations, sponsorships, grants, and government funding for specific projects. This increase in funding allowed AITC-M to add new programs and to expand all other programming to meet a growing demand across our province. From 2017 to 2021, AITC-M’s reach increased from 29,700 students to 56,400. AITC-M is reaching more students in more geographical locations than ever before.
I know from talking to Sue that she remains passionate about the work we are doing at AITC-M. She will continue to support us in every way she can as a volunteer and donor. 
Congratulations, Sue, on the exciting new opportunity ahead of you. For over 30 years, agriculture and education have driven you to find new ways of connecting students and educators with the story of where our food come from. I wish you every success in this next chapter of your own journey.  
In the interim, AITC-M is in excellent hands. As our Operations and Development Manager for the past five years, Katharine Cherewyk has played a vital role in positioning our organization to meet a growing demand for the opportunities we provide to students and teachers. She’s passionate about what we do, and a great organizational relationship-builder who truly understands the role we play in supporting our industry. Her extensive experience and expertise as a strategic planner, communicator, fundraiser, project manager and business leader will ensure a smooth leadership transition in the weeks and months ahead. 
Thank you, Katharine, for taking the lead at this time of great forward momentum for AITC-M. With so many exciting new programs and resources on the horizon, our students, teachers, members, and partners have a great deal to look forward to as we grow a better future for Manitoba agriculture. 

Laura Holtmann
Chair, Board of Directors
Agriculture in the Classroom - Manitoba

Pictured above: Katharine Cherewyk (left) and Sue Clayton (right)

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