Pictured from left are AgScape Executive Director Glenna Banda, OSCIA President Les Nichols, with the award, and Minister of Agriculture Ernie Hardeman at the Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock on Sept. 10. Courtesy photo
MILTON – AgScape, the voice of agriculture education in Ontario classrooms, announced in a press release on Sept. 11 that the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is the first recipient of the inaugural Agriculture Education Champion Award.
AgScape’s Agriculture Education Champion Award is created in partnership with Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and recognizes agri-food businesses, individuals and organizations that are stepping forward to demonstrate leadership and provide positive contributions in support of agriculture education in Ontario.
AgScape is a charitable organization providing reliable and balanced resources to Ontario schools on agriculture, food production, environmental sustainability and related topics. AgScape, formerly OAFE, was created in 1991 with the mission of building awareness and understanding of the importance of agriculture and the food system.
“For more than 25 years, AgScape has been delivering science-based, balanced and curriculum-linked agriculture and food educational programs and resources to Ontario teachers and students. Our mission is to empower Ontario students with impartial and accurate information to increase awareness of the agri-food system and ignite interest in related careers,” said Glenna Banda, AgScape executive director.
“We recognize that we cannot achieve this mission alone. Our success depends on the support of businesses and organizations in the agri-food sector. Our award aims to acknowledge and commend those who have shown commitment to engaging youth about agriculture and food and to inspiring them about the vast career possibilities in the province.”
OSCIA was selected as the recipient for the inaugural award because of their development of educational initiatives that have been instrumental in sharing information about soils with students and the general public. Each year at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, they have a trench dug to educate attendees about the various layers that make up the soil system. OSCIA has also collaborated with AgScape to host experiential learning stations to teach students about the importance of soil, trees and no-till practices.
“Ontario Soil and Crop is very honoured to be recognized with the Agriculture Education Champion Award,” said Les Nichols, OSCIA president. “Producer education has always been a major thrust of our organization, and we have been pleased to partner with influential groups such as AgScape to lend a hand on consumer outreach opportunities,” said Nichols.
The award was presented to OSCIA at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock on Sept. 10.
“On behalf of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, we congratulate the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association as the recipient of the Ag Education Champion Award,” added Doug Wagner, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show president. “As we have seen through their exhibits and plots at this show for many years, they are truly committed to spreading education and awareness about soil health.”
Agriculture Education Champion Award candidates are nominated by peers within the agriculture and education sector. A committee of AgScape staff and Board Members selects the winner.
AgScape looks forward to recognizing many more agri-food businesses and organizations who are helping to educate and inspire the next generation of agriculture leaders. For more information visit www.agscape.ca.