Wednesday, 05 April 2017 13:51

Swift Current Ag and Ex making agriculture-based education programs even better

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Tanja MacIsaac talks to a group of Gull Lake School students about horses and large animal safety at Discover the Farm in April 2016. Tanja MacIsaac talks to a group of Gull Lake School students about horses and large animal safety at Discover the Farm in April 2016. File photo

With spring right around the corner, it’s going to be an extra busy time for those associated with the Swift Current Ag and Ex Association.


Besides gearing up for Frontier Days, the half-day, farm-based education programs soon will be in full swing.
Lenora Bells, event development co-ordinator with the Swift Current Ag & Ex Association, explains the popular ‘Discover the Farm: A Farm Facts Experience’ is growing. The event which takes place at Kinetic Exhibition Park April 27-28 is for students only and then April 29 open to the public.
It allows local youth to learn about farm safety and the process of how their potential food is raised or grown and then ends up on their plates.It is a beneficial learning experience.
Bells says students from not only Swift Current, but from southwest Saskatchewan as far away as Consul will attend. Teachers from the Chinook School Division had a recent deadline in order to book space to come to the event, but Bells says it was almost full. She’s excited and thinks it’s “fantastic” students have a chance to get close to livestock and farm machinery while learning about practical applications regarding safety awareness and even nutrition.
“It was full almost immediately; the feedback is always good,” explains Bells who adds she is pleased there is so much interest in agriculture.
Many secondary-aged students don’t know where their food actually comes from and so this is a way of teaching them.
“At first it was a surprise. Some of them don’t know about where their food comes from ... to get a hands-on experience with the animals as well as a progressive agriculture safety instruction and safety component which has a target for safety awareness is there.”
According to the website, the Ag and Ex will have “dairy cows, poultry, beef, Agriculture in Saskatchewan, safety and more ... included in approximately 12 stations — about two hours in length.”
The April 29 event, which is open to the public, not only features the Discover the Farm component, but also the Poultry and Exotic Animal Sale.
Patrons will have the opportunity to see crafters and exhibitors, breeders of the region’s livestock herds and flocks and get a chance to see equipment and live animals on display. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Discover the Farm program is one of the must-haves during the course of the year for the Ag and Ex. Popularity is there locally and Discover the Farm has been recognized by the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions as an outstanding agricultural and safety education program.
There is a new fluffy wrinkle to the Discover the Farm show. At the Stockade Building April 29, a Rabbit Show will be a featured event. There are six categories including best representation of breed; best costume; largest rabbit; smallest rabbit; best groomed and most unusual or striking colour.
Entry is $5 per rabbit and $1 for each additional class.
The new show was a result of popular demand by the public and those who have set up displays in the past.
“Rabbit people show up and say they often do a rabbit show elsewhere,” explains Bells which made the local Ag and Ex officials think it would be a good idea to try it this year.
Rabbits must be preregistered by April 24 and set up at the show by 9:30 a.m. on April 29.
Judging is at 1 p.m. Competitors must be between the ages of five to 16.
As far as other educational programs, Bells says there are two schools involved in the egg hatching program and Doc’s Town opens on the Fathers’ Day weekend in June.
Access to any of the entry forms for any of the shows or for further questions about Discover the Farm, visit www.swiftcurrentex.com and follow the appropriate links or phone 306-773-2944.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor

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