DURHAM: More than 1,200 Grade 3 students, from across Durham Region, attended Durham Farm Connections, an educational program that meets Ontario curriculum requirements and allows students to be a farmer for a day.
The three-day event, held April 3rd to 5th, at Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin, included live animal displays and hands-on demonstrations by local farmers. This included beef and dairy cattle, pigs, cider, crops, egg production, land stewardship and vegetable stations. A Durham Region farmer was at each station to speak with students and answer their questions.
“Durham Farm Connections has continued to provide opportunities for students and residents to learn about local agriculture in Durham Region, for the last 13 years,” said Kathy Weiss, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “Each year the program does an amazing job at showcasing the value of agriculture in our community and the local economy.”
As part of the program, an Open House event was held on April 4th. This interactive opportunity allowed the general public to learn about agriculture in Durham Region, as well as get a first-hand look at local farming. With more than 725 individuals in attendance, the program was able to contribute 500 kilograms of food to the local food bank.
“Durham Region is home to 1,323 farms, and contributes $257.6 million in farm cash receipts to the economy in Durham Region; making it a key sector,” said Nancy Rutherford, Manager of Agricultural and Rural Affairs. “Through the numerous volunteers who dedicate their efforts each year, as well as the continued support of our local school boards, sponsors, and agricultural organizations, Durham Farm Connections remains an educational and engaging experience for all ages.”
The Durham Farm Connections program provides agricultural education opportunities for both farm and non-farm communities in Durham Region. It has been recognized with an Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence, as well as a Watershed Award from the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). Durham Farm Connections is also the 2018 recipient of the Farm & Food Care Champion Award.
Durham Farm Connections also organizes an annual High School Program that aligns with the Grade 9, 11 and 12 science curriculums, and focuses on agricultural research and technology.
For more information, visit durhamfarmconnections.ca.
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