The Classroom Agriculture Program (PCN Spring 2015) MAR 25 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Don George, General Manager
The Classroom Agriculture Program (better known as CAP) is a wonderful program that helps Grade 4 students learn the importance of agriculture. CAP has been helping kids learn about agriculture for nearly 30 years. We began in 1985, and since that time more than 550,000 kids have received a CAP presentation. This year, over 20,000 kids from all corners of the province are registered to receive a presentation.
The CAP membership group includes: Alberta Pulse Growers Commission; Alberta Wheat Commission; Egg Farmers of Alberta; Canola Producers Commission; Alberta Veterinary Medical Association; Alberta Institute of Agrologists; Eastern Irrigation District; Alberta Chicken Producers; Alberta Milk; Alberta Beef Producers; Alberta Irrigation Projects Association; Alberta Barley Commission and Agriculture for Life.
My name is Don George and I’m the General Manager of the program. I’ve been with CAP for a long time – nearly 20 years. When I first started giving CAP presentations, I was in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada office in Vegreville (PFRA at the time). I went into classrooms all around northeastern Alberta teaching kids about things like soil conservation, ground water and riparian areas. I soon found it to be one of the highlights of my year.
I was surprised at first, but later found that the teachers often came up to me after the presentation and asked further questions. It’s not just the kids that we are educating! Also, how many times have your kids come home from school after something exciting like a guest speaker and told you all about it?
The real strength of CAP is its volunteers. People from the agriculture community give the presentations. Kids may get a presentation from a grain producer, someone who works in a lab, a country grain elevator manager, a pig farmer, or a veterinarian. The volunteers tell the kids why agriculture is important in the lives of all Albertans as well as their own story. The presentations happen in the spring and usually last about an hour.
We are always looking for people who feel that the future of agriculture is important. If that sounds like you, we should chat about how you can become involved with CAP.
Don George can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.