Discover Agriculture Career Field Trip
BC Agriculture in the Classroom, in collaboration with School District 83's Careers Department, recently provided an educational field trip for 35 students from Salmon Arm, JL Jackson, AL Fortune, and Pleasant Valley secondaries. This informative expedition took students on an exciting journey through various agricultural ventures in the region. This journey allowed these young people to dive headfirst into the heart of British Columbia's agriculture and agri-business sector. Let's take a closer look at the adventures that unfolded.
Zest Commercial Kitchen: Where Culinary Dreams Come to Life
The day began with a visit to Salmon Arm's Zest Commercial Kitchen, an innovative hub that houses seven permanent tenants and 22 other food businesses. Here, Facility Manager Tracey Edwards provided a glimpse into the world of small food producers who rent space within the facility. She explained the opportunities for young job seekers and the importance of having Food Safe certification to work with these food producers. As the students toured the kitchens, they witnessed the creation of mouthwatering meat pies by Salmon Arm producer Holey Handpies. The facility served as an inspiration, showcasing the possibilities in food production and entrepreneurship.
Farmer John's Agri-Business: A Glimpse into the World of Dairy Farming
The next destination was Farmer John's Agri-Business in Grindrod, where students got a close look at the dairy and agri-business. What set this farm apart was its two robotic milking machines, which handle an astounding 300+ milkings per day. These machines are operated by 110 Holstein cows who are lured in by controlled snacks. If they are ready for milking, the robot attaches to their udders; if not, the cows return empty-handed. It's a harmonious blend of technology and agriculture, showcasing the future of farming.
Exploring a World of Agri-Business:
The students also had the opportunity to explore three other agri-businesses in the area. They learned about career opportunities in sales and equipment repair at Prairie Coast Equipment, discovered Farm Credit Canada's role in supporting farmers with tailored loans, and explored McCall Management ltd's use of drones for spreading products, monitoring crop growth, and optimizing yields. This diverse exposure to the agriculture industry showcased the myriad of opportunities available within the sector.
Shuswap Organics: A Lesson in Organic Farming
The final stop of the day took students to Shuswap Organics, a one-year-old certified organic farm in Grindrod. Owner Emily Jubenuill, a university biology degree holder, showed the students how her over one-hundred-year-old potato harvester worked. Her farm, spanning 15 acres with five acres under cultivation, produced a wide array of vegetables, including cabbage, chard, cilantro, kale, squash, zucchini, and carrots. The sight of the carrot harvester in action left students in awe, capable of picking a five-hundred-foot row of carrots in just 15 minutes. The visit to Shuswap Organics emphasized the importance of sustainable, organic farming practices and how science and education play vital roles in modern agriculture.
A Day to Remember
The one-day field trip hosted by SD83's Careers Department and BC Agriculture in the Classroom left a lasting impression on the participating students. They were introduced to the multifaceted world of agriculture, from commercial kitchens to dairy farming and sustainable organic practices. The students witnessed the intersection of technology and tradition and explored a range of potential careers in this local industry.
This field trip not only provided valuable insights but also ignited a spark of curiosity and enthusiasm in the minds of these young learners. It showed them that agriculture is not just about farming; it's a vast world of opportunities waiting to be explored. Through the Agriculture Career Tour Day, we have sown the seeds of inspiration, nurturing potential future leaders and innovators in British Columbia's thriving agriculture sector. The experience underscores the importance of hands-on learning and the impact it can have on shaping the future of our youth in agriculture and beyond.