The Coordinator of the University of Manitoba’s Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre says over 27 hundred students from school divisions throughout Manitoba visited the facility this school year.
The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is a hands on agriculture and food interpretive centre located at the University of Manitoba’s Glenlea Research Station on Highway 75 south of Winnipeg.
Kristen Matwychuk, the coordinator of the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre, says the facility hosted 65 field trips during the 2017-2018 school year with about 60 percent of the students coming from schools in Winnipeg and 40 percent from rural schools.
As the number of farmers decrease and generations become further removed from agriculture we’re seeing a knowledge gap and our main goal is to bridge that gap for the public with a fun hands on environment and to really connect farm to fork.
We think everyone should be a part of this experience and part of the conversation because we all need to eat. With youth in particular, they’re beginning to understand that they have a food choice. They’re also exposed to a wealth of information online, much of which is sometimes inaccurate or misrepresented so we discuss the science based facts in agriculture and food and we can help them discover the truth and kind of push them towards developing those critical thinking skills so that they can use them in future endeavors when they’re encountering this wealth of information on line. Really we just want to get them very excited about agriculture and food.
Our primary audience is school kids between grades three to about grade ten. With that group, those who are the ones that are picking up most of the knowledge. They’re maybe a little bit more disconnected from agriculture and food so they’re really the ones that can gain the most from coming here and seem to have the most fun with our centre.
~ Kristen Matwychuk, University of Manitoba
Matwychuk says the most popular attraction is definitely the piglets. She notes seeing the live animals in a commercial setting is really fascinating to people and a few school groups have been lucky enough to see piglets being born.