There were 20 plus tractors driven to CDHS for its annual Bring Your Tractor to School Day on Sept. 15. From the left: South Glengarry Mayor Lachlan McDonald, Daryl McDonell, Sheri McLaughlin, Francis Oliveira, and CDHS principal Trevor Wheeler. Thompson Goddard Photo

WILLIAMSTOWN – While most students arrived in yellow school buses, there were several who arrived at Char-Lan District High School (CDHS) in the 20 plus tractors parked in the parking lot at the school on Sept. 15.  It was the annual Bring Your Tractor to School Day, an annual event which provides an opportunity for those in both the school community and the wider community to see an important part of the agricultural sector.

Organized by Sheri McLaughlin, support staff worker at the school and Agricultural Specialist High Skills Major (Ag SHSM) teachers Francis Oliveira and Daryl McDonell, older students as well as parents or grandparents drove their tractors to school. McLaughlin explained how some participants would leave after lunch, noting she knew of several would-be participants who were busy harvesting and weren’t able to attend. 

The SHSM program at Ontario Secondary Schools provides students with the opportunity to learn about a specific economic sector while gaining credits toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).  Oliveira mentioned there are currently 25 students in all SHSM courses at CDHS, with several students working on farms and learning about the many facets of agribusiness.  

“It is a celebration of agriculture in our community,” commented CDHS principal Trevor Wheeler as he joined staff and students in the school’s parking lot to view the many tractors located there. He mentioned it was an example of the collaboration between community and CDHS to provide an opportunity for students who don’t live on farms to learn about the agricultural industry.

“I was a student at Char Lan and at that time they didn’t have the Bring Your Tractor to School Day. I am glad to see it as it honours our agricultural tradition,” said South Glengarry Mayor Lachlan McDonald.

Oliveira mentioned how during the event, there will be students from CDHS as well as Williamstown Public School touring the tractors and gaining an insight into their role in food production. He noted how it is always nice to see the support of the community in education.