Working in Agriculture is more than just messy work and physical labour. The agriculture sector requires workers who are educated, skilled and can easily adapt to technology. Enrollment in agriculture related programs has soared in Canada and it is not only “rural farm kids” who are pursuing these programs. Thirty percent of the students in the BA agriculture program at the University of Manitoba are “urban kids” (Country Guide, November 2013). Agriculture is becoming a more attractive field for those entering the job market and two recent articles outline the importance and attraction of working in the agri-food industry.
The article: Ag sector interest sends university enrolment up, published by the Western Producer indicates that enrolment in agricultural programs at post-secondary institutions is on the rise. The article outlines a number of reasons why we are seeing rising enrolments and what this means for our society. It also talks about why students without a farming background are, and should be, enrolling! Read the article at:
Another article published by the CBC titled Young People Drawn to Farming by income, job opportunities and written by Janet Davidson talks about people returning to work farms and the attractions of the industry. The article discusses the changing role of the primary producer and how the growing size of farms is creating a new job description for workers. Read the article at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/young-people-drawn-to-farming-by-income-job-opportunities-1.1668323
Welcome to GrowingCareers.ca, a place to explore the exciting and diverse opportunities within a growing economic sector: AGRICULTURE!
GrowingCareers.ca will be officially launched on October 30th for students and educators to discover the endless possibilities within the agri-food sector. This is the story of how it all came to be.
Many studies and research has been done looking at the employment trends within the agri-food industry. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council reported that Canada will have to fill a job skill shortage of 50 000 in the next few years. At the same time, we are being overwhelmed with media stories surrounding unemployment, especially with young graduates. Clearly, there was a need to showcase the agricultural innovations and emerging agri-business opportunities.
Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. (OAFE) was established in 1991 with the mission to bring awareness and understanding of the importance of agriculture and the food system into Ontario classrooms. In April, 2012 it was announced that OAFE would receive funding from the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) to support a project that would expose students to emerging agricultural careers and innovations. The project included many different elements- the main product being GrowingCareers.ca.
For the last 18 months, OAFE staff members have been driving across Ontario with Bruce Sargent, owner of Farm Boy Productions, to capture video profiles of people working in the agri-food industry. Our Goal was to connect the agri-business sector to the education sector by providing interactive videos about careers that exist across the agri-food system. We have interviewed 75 people who are passionate about their careers and about agriculture and who are eager to share their knowledge and wisdom with students. Find these interviews under the student centre of this website and more information about each company under Agri-Business Profiles!
The OAFE Teacher Ambassadors have been the boots on the ground, delivering our careers message. Teacher Ambassadors are Ontario qualified teachers, trained on OAFE resources, who go into classrooms and deliver free lessons to students across the province. Teacher Ambassadors will be helping students navigate the site and showcasing some of the fantastic features of GrowingCareers.ca.
Another exciting aspect of GrowingCareers.ca has been the development of curriculum linked, teacher resources and lesson plans to help educators bring agricultural careers into their subjects. These resources were written by OAFE Teacher Ambassadors and help educators gain new resources and activities that will allow the opportunities of the agri-business sector to be taught in the classroom. Explore the Teacher Resources section for lesson plans and links that can be used in the classroom.
It is an exciting time for the Agri-Food Sector with cutting edge innovations and technologies creating new and exciting career opportunities. OAFE would like to thank all of the companies who were profiled on GrowingCareers.ca, the Agricultural Adaptation Council for specific funding of this project, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food for their ongoing support of our organization and our members, donors and stakeholders for their support of the project. Enjoy the site!