Canada is one of the largest producers and exporters of agricultural products in the world. From the huge wheat fields and cattle ranches in Canada’s prairies to the dairy, fruit, and vegetable farms across the country, Canada is proud to celebrate National Agriculture Day on February 12th.
On July 1st, 1867, the federal department of agriculture appointed the first Minister of Agriculture. Today, Agriculture Canada’s food and beverages can be found around the world.
Did you know?
Provide each student with a blank piece of paper and some coloured markers, pencils, or crayons. Ask them to draw and colour pictures of their favourite foods. Post and ask:
Explain that Canada has farms in every province. Some are fruit and vegetable farms, some are meat and dairy farms, and some grow grains like wheat, soy, oats, and barley.
Follow the process of bringing corn from the field to the table.
View the following short video.
If possible, invite a farmer or someone from the Department of Agriculture to come and talk about how their product gets from the farm to the table. Better yet, take a visit to a local farm and see the operation in action! Check with your provincial or territorial Agriculture in the Classroom for a series of interesting activities.
Ask students what they do in a typical day. What time do they get up? What do they eat for breakfast? What time do they go to school, eat lunch, etc.?
Show students one of the virtual 360 degree tours entitled “A Day in the Life of a Dairy Farm Family.”
Discuss by asking:
Share with the class the website “Farm Food 360 degrees.” This Canadian site provides several very short videos that help students see the processes for getting many products from the farm to the table. It also provides interesting facts about many other kinds of farms.
Additionally, Canada’s Agriculture and Food Museum has interesting information for students on what is in the food they are eating and how to make informed choices.
If you do not have access to technology required to show the online videos, use the short farm facts listed in these sites to promote a discussion of how valuable farmers are and how fortunate we are in Canada to have all of these resources.
Share the information about National Agricultural Day in the introduction above. Ask:
Note: Depending on whether your school serves a rural or urban community, the responses to the questions above will vary greatly. Either way, there is something to be gained by the activity suggested below.
The website produced by Farm and Food Care, entitled, “The Real Dirt on Farming” found here contains a wealth of interesting and current information related to agriculture in Canada today.
Invite students to work in groups to research one of the following topics and create a written summary, poster, PowerPoint presentation, or visual representation of their findings to share with the class.
Here are some suggestions:
Set a time frame for the assignment and additional parameters if you wish. After groups have presented, process the activity by asking:
Consider using these questions as a basis for a science experiment or Science Fair project!
Here are additional sites that may be helpful: