Standard, AB, April 19, 2016: (Written By Cathy Price, Project Coordinator)
Over 80 high school students from across Golden Hills School Division, including Standard, Rockyford, Hussar, Gleichen, Strathmore, Drumheller, and Three Hills participated in an Agriculture Industry Training Day at Standard School on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. The purpose of this day was to allow students to connect theory from an Agricultural Workplace Safety course with industry experts and community partners.
This day was made possible due to the generosity and support of local organizations, businesses, and individuals. Several Agricultural Societies stepped up in a big way to support this event including the Standard and District Agricultural Society who sponsored a lunch for all of the participants and presenters and the Hussar and District Agricultural Society made a generous donation to help cover expenses.
Agriculture for Life, a not for profit organization dedicated to building a greater understanding and appreciation for agriculture, coordinated morning, small group, break-out sessions. These sessions included Rocky Mountain Equipment, CHS, ATCO Underground Utilities, The Co-Operators, ATV Safety, and FORTIS. Scott Elias, a local area farmer brought in a Quad Track tractor for the Rocky Mountain Equipment session.
In the afternoon, students had their choice of four fantastic industry focused tours. A Greenhouse Production Tour included stops at AVB Greenhouses and Eagle Lake Nurseries. Standard School teacher Kirstie Rougeau took students out to Rougeau Farms for an Equine safety and handling workshop. Cattlelands Feedyards near Strathmore hosted students on a tour of their operation as part of the Livestock Production tour. Finally, four companies participated in the Crop Production Tour which featured CHS in Standard, Strathmore Seed Cleaning Plant, Crowfoot Ag, and Agrium in Standard.
Many of the presenters, including Andy Stender of Crowfoot Ag, spoke to students about the diversity and range of careers and post-secondary opportunities available in the Agriculture Industry.
Agriculture is one of the fastest growing, in-demand areas of the economy. From opportunities for value-added strategic planning of Ag products, to the growing need of professional services in this industry, Agriculture offers many opportunities to explore a wide range of occupations and develop many competencies in an authentic, hands-on way.
With all high school students of Standard School participating in this training day, it is clear that agriculture education isn’t just for farm kids anymore! The skills and competencies that can be developed in Agriculture experiences are highly sought after and are believed to be transferable across many sectors of the economy. Experience in agriculture through classroom learning and engagement offers students a competitive advantage in a growing and globalized labour force.
The Standard School Agriculture Industry Training Day is one such program providing students in Golden Hills School Division with that competitive advantage through community-based learning.