Ag Expo showcases growing agriculture career opportunities for students

by | Mar 26, 2024

Farming offers opportunities in the fields of science, technology, finance, engineering, and more

The AITC-Canada exhibit at the Anglophone West’s second annual Ag Expo, this year hosted by Nackawic High School on Thursday, March 21, accurately encapsulated the purpose of the annual event.

AITC, which stands for “Agriculture in the Classroom Canada,” wants to “reconnect children to nature and agriculture.”

Anglophone School District West (ASD-W) Community Engagement Coordinator Valarie Carmichael explained the district and partners designed the expo, which began last year at Carleton North High School, to introduce students to potential career opportunities in the field.

The event poster clearly defined its purpose.

“Give high and middle school students the opportunity to experience, explore and be aware of the many facets of sustainable agricultural practices and the varied agricultural career opportunities moving into 2030,”:

Carmichael explained that approximately 20 exhibitors participated in the Nackawic expo, helping to introduce students to the history and rapidly growing future potential of the agriculture industry.

She explained that agriculture offers opportunities in numerous fields, from labour to science.

Carmichael explained that the district delivered the expo in partnership with AITC-NB, Nutrients for Life, and the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fisheries.

More than 20 exhibitors joined the Ag Expo at Nackawic High School, including 4H Canada. (Jim Dumville photo)

She said approximately 600 students from Nackawic high and middle schools, Canterbury High School, Keswick Valley and Harvey attended the event.

Carmichael explained that exhibitors from all industry sections interacted with the students, showcased career opportunities, provided information about New Brunswick agriculture, and offered “hands-on” experiences to the students.

She said students attending the expo will discover numerous fields of interest in agriculture-related industries, citing McCain Foods as an example of an exhibitor showcasing opportunities in high-tech, science, engineering, finance, and more.

Nackawic dairy farmers, Jock Cronkhite and Bliss Hayward, who interacted with students in the Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick exhibit, helped showcase the “changing times’ within the milk industry.

Local dairy farmers Jock Cronkhite, left, and Bliss Hayward greeted students at the Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick booth. (Jim Dumville photo)

They showcased historical tools of the trade and explained the technological advances on modern dairy farms, including the use of robotic equipment.

Both men said dairy farming has changed dramatically from the farms where they grew up.

In addition to hosting the expo, several Nackawic students directly participated. The high school’s Grade 10Ag110 class hosted an exhibit, while the culinary class made lunch for the exhibitors.

“We had great student participation,” said Carmichael.

She described the Ag Expo as a “fun, learning day for all.”

Makayla Forbes showcases a colourful Muscovy duck, while little Scarlette Waygood, who wandered with her dad Jaeson Waygood from the Waygood Farms exhibit, gets a closer look. (Jim Dumville photo)

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