Aspects of agriculture
Charlottetown Research and Development Centre open house provides close-up look at this important Island industry
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, so does the Island’s agricultural sector.
To mark the anniversary, the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre in Harrington held an open house recently with a number of hands-on activities for the public, including opportunities to talk to scientists about their work, learn how new technology and breakthroughs create opportunities in agriculture and ride on a wagon through the field research plots to learn about new Island crops.
Wayne Riley, regional communications manager for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, said the event was about celebrating agriculture and getting information out to the public about the work being done on the Island.
“I think people should understand the scope and diversity of agriculture on the Island,” he said, adding the general public has a sense of the economic importance agriculture has in this province but not necessarily about the projects currently underway.
Crop diversification is one focus, said Riley, adding that new crops are being developed, such as a hops yard at the Harrington location.
“Anytime you have a more diversified industry you have a stronger industry because you have more things to draw on.”
Riley also hopes events, like the open house, introduce young people to agriculture and opens their eyes to the many types of jobs that are available.
“We want to let young people know there’s this huge gamut of jobs out there in agriculture,” he said.
“It’s not just on the farm, but also through science, through business, through the universities. There’s all kinds of aspects to agriculture.”
Jennifer MacLeod, who works as a greenhouse and field assistant at the Harrington centre, said she was happy to have an open house because a lot of people don’t know what happens at the facility.
“I think it’s important for the general public to see what happens at the farm and to get them more in touch about where their food comes from,” she said.
“Days like this just open up the doors to see about what we actually do here and (the public) can appreciate it a little bit more.”
MacLeod’s children also attended the event, including her 11-year-old daughter, Jessie, who said she had fun and learned a lot.
“I came to see the research farm. I seen tractors and some animals and I did a couple of crafts,” she said, adding that when she grows up she wants to be involved in the sector. “I want to own horses and goats.”
“I think it’s important for the general public to see what happens at the farm and to get them more in touch about where their food comes from. Days like this just open up the doors to see about what we actually do here and (the public) can appreciate it a little bit more.”
Edelaine Burgoyne, who is with the Dairy Farmers of P.E.I., demonstrates how to properly milk a cow on “Moonica”, the mechanical cow, as part of the recent Charlottetown Research and Development Centre open house.
Paul Coady gave tractor tours in Harrington as part of the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre open house.
Zihao Li, 7, of Stratford gets some tattoos in the Kids’ Zone at the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre open house.
Christine Noronah, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, displays some wireworms, the larvae of click beetles at the Charlottetown Research and Development Centre.