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News Release

Agriculture, education and Canada's 150th celebrations come together with Durham Farm Connections

WHITBY, ON April 07, 2017

More than 1,000 Grade 3 students from across Durham Region attended Durham Farm Connections, a three-day educational program that meets Ontario curriculum requirements and provides students with the opportunity to be a farmer for a day, through interactive stations with local farmers.

The event, held from April 4 to 6, was organized by more than 100 volunteers and included hands-on demonstrations by local farmers and live animal exhibits. The students and their teachers rotated through eight different farm-themed stations, including: apples, eggs, crops, dairy, pork, beef, land stewardship and vegetables.

A Durham Region farmer was at each station to talk to students and answer their questions. After completing all eight stations, students viewed a live sheep-shearing demonstration.

“Now in its 12th year, the Durham Farm Connections program continues to provide the opportunity for students and residents to learn about local agriculture,” said Kathy Weiss, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “Each year the program showcases the value of agriculture in our community and to the region’s local economy.”

On April 5, as part of the program, an Open House event was held for the general public at Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin. Local farmers were on-site to give visitors a first-hand look at farming. The response from the community was exceptional, with more than 820 individuals attending. Attendees contributed 453.6 kilograms (1,000 pounds) of food to the local food bank.

“Thank you to the Durham Farm Connections volunteer committee for their effort and dedication to making this program fun and interesting each year for all of our students and attendees,” said Nancy Rutherford, Manager of Agricultural and Rural Affairs. “We would also like to thank our local school boards, sponsors and agricultural organizations for their continued support.”

The Durham Farm Connections program is an agriculture education program that has been recognized with an Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence, as well as a Watershed Award from the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA).

Durham Farm Connections also includes a high school science program—focusing on agricultural research and technology—aligning with Grade 9, 11 and 12 science curricula.

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