Many Grade 4 students think chocolate milk comes from brown cows and that eggs come from a carton. To help Alberta students understand the importance of agriculture and to dispel their misconceptions about where their food comes from, the Classroom Agriculture Program (CAP) needs agriculture volunteers.
“Last year, nearly 19,000 elementary students across Alberta registered for CAP,” says Lindsey Metheral, education coordinator, Alberta Beef Producers. “Endorsed by the Minister of Education and the Minister of Agriculture, CAP volunteers go directly into classrooms and talk to students about the farm.” Since inception in 1985, the demand for this program continues to flourish; however, over the years there has been a decrease in the number of volunteers donating their time to speak with the children. CAP volunteers are farmers, ranchers, agri-food experts, government members and individuals who have an agriculture background and experience. This network of volunteers delivers the program between March and June of each year. Presentations are one hour and often include story-telling, hands-on props and fun activities. CAP provides ideas and guidance to all volunteers. Volunteers must register by Feb. 1, 2009. One presentation takes about five hours, which includes training, preparation and the presentation. CAP is a not-for-profit organization that relies on people who are dedicated to preserving and promoting agriculture.