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Federal funds will help teach kids about where their food comes from

Agriculture in the Classroom Canada will use $1.6 million to develop new learning resources

The federal government is providing $1.6 million over two years to help educate Canadian kids on where their food comes from.

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada is providing the funding for Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, which creates classroom resources designed to teach students across the country about the agriculture and food industry. Ten provinces are members of the non-profit organization, including Ontario.

"It is absolutely essential that young Canadians understand where their food comes from. They must know what farmers' work consists of and how hard they work to take care of their animals and our environment in order to provide us with high-quality food,” federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a March 1 news release.

"I encourage our young people to take an interest in the many job opportunities available to them on farms and in mechanics, electronics and engineering, science, animal and plant health and much more! I applaud the Agriculture in the Classroom Canada team for their outstanding work and celebrate Agriculture Literacy Month with them."

Specifically, the funding will go toward fact sheets, school gardening programs, a teacher training program, and virtual farm presentations.

The goal is to not only educate children about the country's food ecosystem, but also encourage more young people to consider a career in agriculture and agri-food.

According to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), in 2018 more than 16,400 agriculture positions went unfilled, costing the industry $2.9 billion in lost sales.