The Classroom Agriculture Program was created to enhance students’ understanding of agriculture and where their food comes from, thereby fostering a greater respect for the industry and the individuals who make Alberta-based food production a reality.
By taking a strong, positive message about Alberta agriculture to the classroom, CAP volunteers have been having a positive impact on Alberta children for over 35 years. The program’s objectives continue to create a positive perception receptive to:
the immediate value of agriculture to the economy
the immediate value of agriculture in providing employment in both primary and secondary sectors
the immediate value of agriculture to the Canadian lifestyle. For example, pharmaceuticals made available through by-products in the cattle sector
the immediate appreciation of Alberta food production and processing
the need to protect and preserve the land base which supports the production of food for Canadians
the importance of soil conservation
the career opportunities throughout the entire spectrum of agriculture ,including support industries
Educates about science, gardening and nature
Gets youth thinking about their food and where it comes from
Highlights the vast opportunities in agriculture
Uses fun activities and a storytelling narrative to engage students
The Classroom Agriculture Program was conceptualized by Vickie King, a member of the Alberta Women in Support of Agriculture. In 1985, she was successful in garnering funds from the Alberta Cattle Commission to jumpstart the program. Current program sponsors include the Alberta Barley Commission, Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta–British Columbia Seed Growers, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Alberta Chicken Producers, Alberta Irrigation Districts Association, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, Alberta Wheat Commission, Eastern Irrigation District and Egg Farmers of Alberta.
The first CAP presentations were made to 395 schools, including 29,739 students. Since that time over 600,000 students have received a CAP presentation. CAP currently has about 300 active volunteers who deliver presentations. CAP is free of charge and is available to grade four classes across Alberta. The presentation is one hour long.