Last week, students and teachers from Lacombe Composite High School had the chance to roll up their sleeves and get some dust on their boots, while learning about the science, technology and innovations of agriculture in Alberta. The students were participating in the Cultivate Youth Agriculture Leadership Summit, hosted by Inside Education, Alberta’s largest natural resources and environmental education charity. Student teams spent four days in Olds, March 5-8, for an event that brought 20 high schools from across the province together with a wide range of experts from the agriculture sectors.
“This was Inside Education’s 10th annual provincial-scale youth summit, and the first one dedicated specifically to agriculture,” explained Kathryn Wagner, Inside Education Program Director. ”The summit was designed to enhance understanding about agriculture and agri-food in Alberta and promote youth leadership through education and action projects,” Wagner continued.
Highlights of the Cultivate Summit included a technology tour of Olds College research facilities and tours of local dairy, beef, and bison farms and a commercial greenhouse. The 80 students and 40 teachers gathered met with more than 40 experts representing multiple perspectives within the agriculture sector, collaborated on post-summit projects, participated in workshops with their peers, and were enthusiastic spectators at the Cultivate Summit Rodeo staged by the Olds College Rodeo Team.
“After an amazing four days experiencing agriculture in Alberta, the teams are challenged to return to their communities armed with an action plan specific to their own school,” said summit Co-Chair Julie Fisher. “The projects adopted by participating schools include building greenhouses, hosting ‘agriculture days’ in school, and even scaling up existing school agriculture programs to include introducing livestock to their school farm!”
Inside Education hosted Cultivate 2020 with the support of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, Alberta-based agriculture producer and commodity groups, and Alberta’s energy sector.
Since its inception in 1985, Inside Education’s work in environmental and natural resources education has affected the lives and learning of generations of Alberta students, through classroom presentations, student field trips and teacher professional development opportunities focused on forests, energy, agriculture, water, climate change, and wildlife. In the past 10 years, Inside Education youth summits have brought more than 800 students and 400 teachers from 200 high schools across Alberta to weekend-long events allowing students to focus intensively on natural resource and environment topics.
-Submitted by Inside Education