Elementary School Farm Tours Build Agriculture Awareness

by 5m Editor
29 May 2008, at 10:30am

CANADA - A Prince Albert area honey producer says the difficulty in attracting young people into careers in agriculture makes it increasingly important to make them aware of the employment opportunities on the farm, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Approximately 150 students from three Prince Albert elementary schools are taking part in the 2008 "Real Dirt on Farming" tours organized by the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board.

This is the second year of the program and this year's tour includes stops at an apiary near Prince Albert, a bison ranch near Cudworth and the Pork Interpretive Gallery at Elstow.

Bill Nash, who operates Moose Meadow Apiaries, believes its important to participate in these types of activities.

Bill Nash-Moose Mountain Apiaries

I think it's really important to introduce young people to farming.

I think it's becoming increasingly difficult both to find help to work on farms and also to find people to become bee keepers.

As we go to the meetings we look around, and I think it's the same thing for the farmers, that you look around and everybody's getting on in age and there are fewer and fewer young people coming into it.

I think probably because of the high wages being offered elsewhere.

I really enjoyed doing the tour.

It's quite nice to have the kids come out.

I found the kids were very polite.

They had some interesting questions to ask and just generally seemed interested.

I think it's really important to show people that you can enjoy yourself doing this kind of work and, once they see what it involves, hopefully some of them might be interested.

Moose Meadow Apiaries runs 600 to 700 beehives each year producing an average of just under 300 pounds of honey per hive which is marketed through the Manitoba Honey Cooperative under the Bee Made trade name.

Nash says the students where shown the different stages of honey bee development and the equipment used for extracting honey and they took part in a honey tasting exercise.

He says, while the students seemed interested, there didn't seem to be much interest in actually working on a honey farm.

5m Editor