Darren Duncalfe remembers the looks on his grade seven and eight students' faces as they slid their arms into the four chambers of a cow's stomach.
"That freaked some kids out. I'll tell you that," he says.
He also remembers watching them climb combines, in awe of their size, during AITC-M's Manitoba Ag Days Adventure.
Darren used to teach grades seven and eight at Harrison Middle School and Earl Oxford School in Brandon and has participated in AITC-M's Made in MB Breakfast for both. Now, he teaches grade 10 geography at Vincent Massey High School. Darren has been teaching for 20 years.
Darren has been working with and using AITC-M's resources for about 15 years. Through that time, he has sent two students to Des Moines, Iowa, to participate in the Global Youth Institute (GYI) and accompanied one.
"It's an incredible opportunity for students as far as leadership goes," Darren says.
Living in the "Wheat City," Darren says it's important to teach his students about agriculture because farming, food production, and the agriculture industry as a whole is a huge part of Brandon's community.
"We are one hundred per cent ag in this town," he says. "There's a good chance if they (the students) stick around this area, they'll be working in the field."
Both of Darren's brothers are farmers, and his family owns a bee business. Darren owns chickens and pheasants at home. In his spare time, he hunts and fishes.
Darren says sustainability is the biggest lesson agriculture has been able to teach his students. It's the core lesson of all his courses.
Karen Hill, Curriculum Specialist at AITC-M, says, "Darren creates the opportunity for his students, not just to learn about agriculture, but to become personally engaged with it."
She also says Darren and his students have been "enthusiastic participants" in AITC-M programs like the Amazing Rangeland Adventure, Journey 2050 and more.
"Darren is a great ambassador for agriculture education," she says.
Thank you, Darren, for educating Manitoba students on the importance of food production, farming, sustainability, and the agriculture industry!