Portage Collegiate Institute recently buzzed with excitement as it hosted a Career Fair in collaboration with Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba. The event aimed to broaden students' perspectives on agriculture. Many businesses and local organizations came out to show the kids how diverse a career in the ag sector can be.

Adelle Gervin, Careers Program Manager, dispelled the stereotypical farmer image and showcasing the industry's varied roles.

"They still think of that farmer with the pitchfork and straw hat," Gervin explains. "Technology and the digital aspect of ag is growing so much. There are four jobs available for every graduate from a university program right now. That's how direly we need people to work in the ag industry."

Violet Fergusson, a grade 9 student, admitted to initially associating agriculture solely with farming. 

"When you think of like agriculture, it's just like farming, but, what I've realized here today is that it's much more than that." 

Taralea Simspon, an Agronomist with Shur-Gro Farm Services, engaged students with interactive displays, challenging the notion of farming as coveralls and hay. She highlights the extensive support system surrounding farmers.

"Farmers are why we're all here," Simpson explains. "But, a lot of agriculture is the support of the farmer, so I approach it with, 'Do you like science?' Agronomy might be for you. Maybe being a veterinarian might be for you or a research scientist might be for you. Do you like money? That's ag. Do you want to work at a bank? Do you want to work in investments? That's all ag." 

The ag-centred Career Fair at PCI successfully shattered stereotypes and kindled curiosity among students. Professionals like Gervin and Simspon worked to inspire the next generation, planting seeds of innovation and a broader understanding of the dynamic agriculture and food industry.


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