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Immanuel Christian receives food for thought

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Kids at Immanuel Christian School were treated to the most important meal of the day on June 14.

They had to do a little bit of work first, though.

The Transcona school had a visit from Selkirk-based Agriculture in the Classroom, an organization dedicated to teaching students where their food comes from through the Made in Manitoba Breakfast Program.

Kids saw a presentation to teach them the basics of agriculture, showing them that it’s not just food that comes from farms — products ranging from insulin to ethanol to drywall all wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for farming.

In addition to learning about agricultural occupations at the base level, students were given the opportunity to meet Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers employees who do jobs ranging from communications to event planning. The employees served students a breakfast of pancakes with honey, sausages, hard-boiled eggs, and chocolate milk.

Agriculture in the Classroom executive director Johanne Ross hopes students learned about the scope of the industry.

"The most important (message) is ‘just where does your food come from’, and connecting it to local Manitoba farmers and even past the farm gate to all the people that get food to your plate," Ross said. "There are so many different aspects to the industry that they may not have even considered as agriculture — financial aspects, marketing, science and research."

Ross said the program has been around for seven years, but was only able to expand its reach after receiving support from the Monsanto Fund. The program started out visiting fewer than 10 schools per year, but is now up over 40.

Grade 8 student Leonard Bruinsma said he learned how all-encompassing the industry really is.

"I learned most about how much the stuff can be used in everyday life," he said, noting he was surprised to learn about how pig hairs are used in drywall.

One student was surprised to learn how much is grown in his own backyard.

"We grow quite a few things in Manitoba," Grade 6 student Joel Gortemaker said.

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