Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C), along with 10 provincial member organizations, has launched thinkAG.ca, a new website aimed at getting middle year to high school students curious about careers in Canada’s agriculture and food sector.
The interactive website takes students on a journey to discover how their interests match up with careers in agriculture and food, showcased by over 70 career profiles highlighting the many diverse jobs that exist along the agricultural value chain. Students will also have access to information about post-secondary options and scholarship opportunities.
“This is the first website of its kind in Canada – guiding students to uncover how their futures can fit into the agriculture industry,” said Shayla Hertz, AITC-C’s thinkAG manager. “We need to help students see themselves, and how their skills fit, in agriculture and food. We want them to know that people who have not grown up on a farm or with an ag background are often the most valuable additions to agriculture because they question the status quo. New and fresh perspectives are needed in an industry that’s forever growing in complexity and vital to feeding our world.”
Right now, in Canada, there are more jobs in agriculture than there are people to fill them. This website is a revolutionary way to encourage students to recognize how their interests and skills fit into the agriculture sector – rather than the other way around – and promotes finding meaningful careers in Canadian agriculture and food.
“Agriculture is how we will address some of the toughest challenges facing our communities, and thinkAG is how we will prepare the next generation of leaders to help us solve them,” said Connie Tamoto, Cargill’s Senior Manager for Corporate Responsibility in Canada. “Through engaging activities and real-life examples, thinkAG highlights the exciting and challenging careers in agriculture available today and in the future.”
Cargill is a presenting sponsor of the website through a $200,000 commitment over two years. The website was also brought to life through support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agriculture Partnership program and Farm Credit Canada.
thinkAG has been a national initiative of AITC-C since 2018 and includes several other resources, programs and event offerings, including genAG, a career exploration program that involves students developing innovative marketing concepts to promote agriculture and food career options to their peers, and the Career Exploration Activity Toolkit, a step-by-step activity guide that engages students in exploring the wide variety of career pathways available in agriculture and food – just to name a few.
“In our school division, we are focusing on developing students who are ‘ag-literate’ and have a diverse understanding of the agriculture industry. A key component of this is understanding the career opportunities that exist in the industry, many of which are in our local communities,” said Darren Gasper, the Superintendent of Education at Sun West School Division. “The thinkAG website is a great way to help students think about their interests: whether that’s technology, communications, finance – you name it – and to see that all of these have a place in agriculture. I’m excited to see students make these connections.”
The thinkAG initiative is set to take off with the launch of this website, and even more elements are being added to it over the coming months. Additions will include the national roll-out of the Career Case Game, which promotes the development of important skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication and problem solving, and the launch of a career aptitude app in the fall.
Visit thinkAG.ca for more information.