More than 1,100 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 2 to 4 at Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin, included live animal displays and hands-on demonstrations by local farmers. This included dairy, beef, poultry, sheep, maple syrup, vegetables, apples and crop stations. A Durham Region farmer was at each station to speak with students and answer their questions.
“For 14 years, Durham Farm Connections has provided interactive opportunities for students and residents to learn about local agriculture in Durham Region,” said Brian Bridgeman, Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning. “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 3. This collaborative 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 975 individuals in attendance, the program was able to contribute 680 kilograms of food to the local food bank.
“The Durham Farm Connections volunteer committee delivers a quality, interactive program. We would like to thank all 120 volunteers for their effort and dedication to this program. We are also grateful for the support from our local school boards, sponsors and agricultural organizations,” said Nancy Rutherford, Manager of Economic Development, Agricultural and Rural Affairs.
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.
Photo: Durham Agricultural Connections