The Binbrook Agricultural Society Presents
Agri-Education Day Program for Students in Grades 2 & 3
Next Date: Friday, September 13th, 2019
Chairperson: Michele Bain: 905.692.0114
Jane Elliott: 905.692.9157 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melinda (Mel) Ramsay: 416.992.0999 e: email@example.com
Our Agricultural Education Program is held annually on the opening Friday of the Binbrook Fair, the second weekend after Labour Day. We have 2 sessions in which we bring in eight grade 2-3 classes. They rotate through eight 15 minute sessions. There is a limit of 25 students per class. The focus has always been to provide hands-on sessions to the students, which could never be brought to the classroom. Seven of the sessions are focused on farm animals located at what we fondly call “Old MacDonald’s Farm”. We usually have dairy cows in a milking parlour, a beef cow and calf, sow and piglets, sheep and a week old lamb, horses, alpacas, chicks hatching in an incubator, and baby chicks that the children can hold. The eighth session is on Farm Machinery and is held just outside of the Old MacDonald’s tent. In the event of rain the farm machinery segment is held under the tent using toy farm equipment as examples.
Our program has never been focused on the idea of quickly running as many students as possible, en masse, through a tent filled with inaccessible animals, and boring instruction. We simply prefer quality, over quantity, and find excellent success with that formula. We use small interactive group stops, that are hands-on, leading to a truly interactive education program with the kids.
The people leading the sessions, are people, who make their living farming. In many cases, they represent many generations of farmers, and can speak to not only how it is done today, but how it has been done in the past as well.
The students are of diverse backgrounds, and cultural origins. Many have never been this close to farm animals, and are positively affected forever.
We Generally Hold Two Sessions
In the morning from 9:30 am to 11:30 am
In the afternoon from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.
Our presenters are mostly farmers who have a passion for their animals, and enjoy imparting that passion and knowledge to the children. For example, we have a chicken farmer with an incubator who sets out the eggs so that there is one hatching every 10 minutes, allowing the children to view the hatching first hand. The session leaders decide on the content of their presentation, and we allow them a full 15 minutes per session, including allowing the children several minutes to just touch and interact with the animals.
We have volunteers that escort each class to ensure that they move from one session to the other on time and that they do not lag behind. The volunteers are provided with the name of the school that they will be escorting and the starting session for that school. The volunteers give the teacher Binbrook Fair ribbons (pictured to the left) for each of their students to wear, as well as a shopping bag. The shopping bag is for the teacher so that he/she can collect free items that are given out by the session leaders.
The organizers of the Education program also give out information on the fair, the Ontario Agri-Food Education (OAFE) resource guide, and some information from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). The volunteers also carry a supply of wet wipes for the children to wipe their hands after handling the animals. In addition to the wet wipes, there is a hand wash station and portable toilets just outside of the Old MacDonald’s tent.
Is your school interested in bringing your grade 2 or 3 class to the Annual Education Day in 2019?
If the answer is yes please click on the link below to download our application form. Please note that space is limited, so get your application in early.