Wishing you a Happy New Year from the Agriculture in the Classroom collective! We're looking forward to an amazing year working with our partners to seize new opportunities and cultivate growth in 2024!

I AM AG Campaign Launched To Promote

Careers in Agriculture

Did you know that the agriculture sector represents one in eight careers in Canada? Yet, according to recent research conducted by the Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council (CAHRC), over 50 per cent of people surveyed could not name a job in agriculture other than farmer. Our future workforce is in the classroom today and we need to educate and inspire them to consider a job in agriculture to sustain and grow our industry for the future.

That’s why we’re running the I AM AG campaign. Launched in November during Career Month in Canada, I AM AG is an interactive, social media campaign designed to showcase the wide variety of jobs in the agriculture and agri-food sector to Canadian youth. Using an innovative, online tool, young people are matched to a handful of ag careers for which they may be best suited based on their personal attributes. The tool features dozens of different jobs highlighting the wide range of career opportunities and diversity in agriculture. To learn more, students can visit thinkAG for a more detailed look at each of those careers.

A special thank you to our partners who are featured in our thinkAG careers - Bayer, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), Fertilizer Canada, Green Diamond - John Deere, MNP and Nutrien. For more information on sponsoring a career, contact Christa Wright.

Share your ag pride and create your own I AM AG video to highlight your unique role in the industry. Get involved and share your story on social media today using the #IAMAG! To learn more and participate, visit!

AITC Meets Minister MacAulay in Ottawa

Agriculture in the Classroom was pleased to meet with the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay in Ottawa on December 13 to talk about the importance of agricuture education today and for our future. Thank you to Minister MacAulay for being a champion of Agriculture in the Classroom!

(Pictured L to R: Christa Wright, AITC-C, Minister MacAulay, Laurie Loane, AITC-PEI, Mathieu Rouleau, AITC-C)

Meet AITC-C's New Executive Director:

Q&A with Mathieu Rouleau

We welcomed our new executive director to Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) on November 6. Based in Quebec, Mathieu Rouleau brings a combination of leadership, agriculture and finance experience to the role. We sat down with Mathieu to learn more about his lifelong ties to agriculture and vision for the organization.

Can you tell us about your background in agriculture?

I was born and raised on a dairy, cash crop and maple syrup farm and have been involved in agriculture ever since. After graduating high school, I did my degree in agricultural economics at the University of McGill in Montreal and then worked in finance doing agricultural and commercial lending. During that time, I co-founded Agriculture in the Classroom Quebec as École-O-Champ.

What is it about the industry that keeps drawing you in?

I'm still in the agriculture industry today because of the passionate people, the sense of community and the great experience I had growing up. I had many opportunities through 4-H Quebec, including growing a garden and showing a calf, and that led to being involved in the community and giving back. The innovation and the passion in agriculture drive a very important part of who I am, and I want to be surrounded by people who share that interest and passion. I want my future children and grandchildren to have those same experiences and appreciate agriculture like I do.

As a co-founder of École-O-Champ, what drove your decision to step away and join the team at AITC-C?

I have been working collectively to help the national organization grow and have a strong impact in Quebec. I’ve met passionate people from coast to coast and, with the challenges our industry faces, I want to contribute and help bring agriculture to more classrooms across Canada. We create over two million student experiences each year and that's having an impact. I’m excited to take on a broader role working with and supporting our 10 member organizations across Canada.

Can you explain how that relationship between AITC-C and the member organizations?

AITC-C is the national organization that supports our 10 member organizations, who deliver programs and resources to teachers across the country. We develop national initiatives, such as Canadian Ag Literacy Month in March and Career Month in Canada in November, which are delivered by the provinces. We also co-create programming that the provinces can deliver to increase their impact and ensure there is a provincial lens, everyone's voice is heard and we're creating something that is useful and easy to use in the classroom for teachers.

Why is it so important there are programs and resources available to continue to educate and connect Canadian youth to the food and agriculture industry?

We produce a lot of resources and programs for teachers across the country. We regularly review and update our programming to make sure we're bringing new information to youth over the span of their elementary and secondary schooling. The science is evolving, and it's our job as leaders of agricultural education to ensure they have the most current, accurate and balanced information.

What are you looking forward to in 2024 as executive director?

I'm looking forward to many new things at AITC-C. We're excited to grow and expand our partnerships so we can build on the great things we already do and develop new programming. We're embarking on a journey to bring more equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility to our organization and resources. I think it's very important for us to continue to make sure everything is bilingual and I’m looking forward to bringing more industry partners on to join our quest for ag literacy. Our partners are very supportive and committed to ag education. Their contributions have allowed us to successfully build a national organization, along with the leadership of Johanne Ross, our foundational Executive Director, and Sara Shymko, our outgoing Interim Executive Director. They were both instrumental in growing our organization and I look forward to building on that for the future.

Thank you, Sara!

As Sara Shymko steps down from her role as Interim Executive Director of AITC-C, we want to extend our sincere gratitude for her leadership. Sara has been leading the AITC-C team since February and has been instrumental in guiding some of our key projects this year – launching the I AM AG campaign and developing a new program that is launching in early 2024, Mission Explorium.

It's been a busy year and Sara has gone above and beyond to lead our national initiatives, while still serving as Executive Director of AITC-SK. Sara's passion for agriculture education shines through in everything she does, and we're grateful for the time she has dedicated to AITC-C. Thank you, Sara!

Mission Explorium Takes Off in 2024!

We're launching a new program in the New Year! Mission Explorium is equal parts fun for students and easy for teachers. It is an interactive, four-week national competition aimed at challenging students to think critically about building a sustainable society. The program puts students in the driver’s seat of this choose-your-own adventure competition, as they encounter complicated real-word topics in a fun, experiential way. We're looking for partners to get involved in this exciting project and be a founding partner. To learn more, contact Christa Wright

Celebrating Career Month in Canada!

November was a busy month as we launched the I AM AG campaign and celebrated Career Month in Canada. Here’s a snapshot of some of the events we attended:

L to R: Jennifer Wright, CAHRC, Mathieu Rouleau, AITC-C, Kathryn Doan, AgScape

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto

The I AM AG campaign was officially launched on November 7 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. AITC-C Executive Director Mathieu Rouleau was joined by Kathryn Doan, Chair of AgScape, AITC-C's member organization in Ontario, and Jennifer Wright, Executive Director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), to speak about the importance of educating Canadian youth about career opportunities in agriculture. 

Advancing Women in Agriculture

Our thinkAG Manager, Kalysha Hanrahan, attended the Advancing Women in Agriculture East conference in Niagara Falls, November 20 and 21. Kalysha promoted the #IAMAG campaign and encouraged everyone to create their own video. There was positive feedback from industry and even some educators in attendance. Kalysha also attended and represented AITC-C at the Women's Roundtable discussion hosted by AAFC. 

Canadian Western Agribition

AITC collective members walked the show at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina November 23 to 25 to promote the

I AM AG campaign. PEI's Laurie Loane, AITC-C's Christa Wright and Sara Shymko and staff from AITC-SK spent a busy few days getting the word out, including a radio spot and having Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s Deputy Minister Rick Burton make his own I AM AG video!

GrowCanada in Calgary

Members of the AITC collective from across the country attended CropLife’s GrowCanada conference, November 28 to 30 in Calgary. AITC hosted an After School Party partner reception, which was a great opportunity to introduce our new Executive Director, highlight the I AM AG campaign and underscore the need for continued investment in agriculture education. AITC promoted I AM AG to industry members throughout the GrowCanada conference and received a very positive response about the need to promote ag careers. 



Educating the next generation about where their food comes from and the importance of agriculture is critical. Our future leaders, innovators and policy-makers are in the classroom today and we need to inspire them now to pursue a career in our industry. You play an important role in supporting and investing in agriculture education to sustain and grow our industry for the future. Together, we can make a difference. 

Agriculture in every classroom, inspiring every student. 
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