It’s a triumphant return to the classroom for Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) / Mois de la litératie agricole canadienne (MLAC) this March, as 6,997 Manitoba students will participate in Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba’s (AITC-M) flagship program.

“After two years of virtual programming due to the pandemic, there’s no sweeter feeling than returning to in-person classroom visits this year,” says Katharine Cherewyk, Executive Director of AITC-M. “It’s critical for our future generation of consumers and decision-makers to be connected to their food and who produces it, and CALM is an amazing opportunity for that to happen — especially when those connections are made in-person.”

“Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month returning to classrooms will be a valuable opportunity for Manitoba students to see where their food comes from and hear from those who produce it,” says The Honourable Derek Johnson, Minister of Agriculture for the Province of Manitoba. “Thanks to Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba and the many volunteers in the agriculture industry, students will be provided a visit and an activity that can leave a lasting impression and inspire them to think about agriculture and its importance to our province.”

This year, 150 agriculture industry volunteers will visit 332 French and English classrooms across the province, bringing their own agricultural experiences and stories, a hands-on activity and an agriculture-themed book to students in Grades 2, 3 and 4. This year’s CALM focus in Manitoba is on Food Loss and Waste. Students will explore each step of the food supply chain from farm to plate through an interactive activity — learning about how the industry in Manitoba works to limit food loss and how we all can reduce food waste.

“We want programs like CALM to be high-quality, fun and educational as they tell the story of where our food comes from,” says Cherewyk. “We’re humbled that so many incredible volunteers and teachers share that vision with us and are participating in CALM this year. Together, we’re all committed to ensuring a diverse Manitoba agricultural industry is valued now and in the future.”

CALM is an initiative of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada. Now in its 12th year, it celebrates linking students to food producers and leaders in the agriculture industry so the next generation of Canadians not only knows where their food comes from, but also the importance of the sector to communities from coast to coast. Learn more about the program here.