Golden Hills stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in agri­cul­ture in­dus­try train­ing day

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail pho­tos sub­mit­ted

Golden Hills School Divi­sion (GHSD) stu­dents got a taste for what an agri­cul­ture-in­te­grated cur­ricu­lum may look like at the soon-to-be-open Wheat­land Cross­ing school when stu­dents from across the divi­sion par­tic­i­pated in an Agri­cul­ture In­dus­try Train­ing Day at Stan­dard School on Tues­day, April 19.

Over 80 stu­dents from across GHSD in­clud­ing Drumheller, Stan­dard, Rock­y­ford, Hus­sar, Gle­ichen, Three Hills and Strath­more par­tic­i­pated in the day which saw groups travel to a cat­tle feed lot, green­houses, a seed clean­ing plant, and equine fa­cil­i­ties in or­der to con­nect the­ory from an agri­cul­tural work­place safety course with in­dus­try ex­perts.

“So many of our stu­dents are ru­ral, so agri­cul­ture safety is what they are deal­ing with in their daily lives,” said Stan­dard School prin­ci­pal Karen Smith, “and it’s good for any stu­dent to have that safety back­ground in their lives.”

Agri­cul­ture for Life, a not­for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion co­ordi- nated small group, break-out ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions with lo­cal in­dus­try in the morn­ing and then had stu­dents choose be­tween four af­ter­noon tours which fo­cused on ex­pos­ing stu­dents to the real life agri­cul­ture in­dus­tries we rely on.

“We want to in­clude agri­cul­ture in a lot of what we do in our new school be­cause it's an important part of the life­style and econ­omy of the area,” said Smith, who ex­plained that the idea of devel­op­ing a “mini-

farm” for the new Wheat­land Cross­ing School, which is sched­uled to open in Septem­ber this year in east Wheat­land County, which will serve K-12 stu­dents in Stan­dard, Hus­sar, Rock­y­ford, and Gle­ichen.

“We cur­rently have a small green­house and in the fu­ture hope to have a mini-farm area of the new school that stu­dents would help main­tain and look af­ter,” said Smith. “I’m so ex- cited about it. We’re imag­in­ing a barn to house a half dozen live­stock an­i­mals that the stu­dents will learn about and help care for, with a green­house and com­mu­nity gar­den area.”

Smith said she hopes to in­te­grate ap­plied agri­cul­tural the­ory to cour­ses.

“For ex­am­ple, in Grade 3 they study the life cy­cles of in­sects, so then maybe they’ll look at the types of in­sects that af­fect a Canola crop.”

Par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses in­cluded Rocky Moun­tain Equip­ment, CHS, ATCO Un­der­ground Util­i­ties, the Co­op­er­a­tors, ATV Safety, For­tis, Cat­tle­lands Feed­yards, AVB Green­houses, Ea­gle Lake Nurs­eries, Rougeau Farms, the Strath­more Seed Clean­ing Plant, Crow­foot Ag., and Agrium in Stan­dard.

Over 80 stu­dents from across Golden Hills School Divi­sion, in­clud­ing Drumheller, took part in an Agri­cul­ture In­dus­try Train­ing Day at Stan­dard School on Tues­day, April 19, which saw stu­dents travel to a seed lot, a cat­tle feed lot, and check out ma­jor farm equip­ment out­side of Stan­dard School.

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