Students learn about the different products that can be made from raw commodities at the food processing booth hosted by the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre.

The new thinkAG Career and Education Expo at Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) allowed students to explore the endless career and entrepreneurial opportunities in agriculture, learn about modern food production and discover the diversity of post-secondary options available in agriculture-related fields.

In groups of six to eight, students rotated through interactive stations led by industry partners profiling various agriculture career paths including:

  • Agronomy (Cargill);
  • Animal science (Western College of Veterinary Medicine);
  • Agricultural trades and technology (South Country Equipment);
  • Food development (The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre);
  • Agribusiness (AdFarm); and
  • Research and innovation (Dow AgroSciences).

At each station, students learned from professionals working in that field and participated in a hands-on activity to truly ‘experience' what that job entails. There was also a station devoted to post-secondary education, where students explored the program options at Lakeland College and the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan.

"AdFarm was thrilled to participate in the first ever thinkAG Career and Education Expo held at the 2014 Canadian Western Agribition. The opportunity to connect with young people and hopefully inspire a career choice in agriculture fits in perfectly with our purpose of being a catalyst for the advancement of agriculture," Amanda Howard, Group Account Lead for AdFarm, said. "AdFarm works closely with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture for their marketing and communications initiatives and at the thinkAG Career Expo, lead students through a brand building workshop."

The Expo introduced high school students to modern agriculture - an industry that is science-based, market-driven and reliant on technology. At the Expo, students were able to explore careers from gate to plate, while at the same time learning that agriculture is a lot more than just farming and ranching. By hosting the Expo at CWA, students heard about how dynamic and diverse the industry was, and were also able to experience it themselves by walking through the barns and the exhibits halls, checking out the machinery and participating in some of the featured programming.

If you are interested in participating in next year's Expo, contact Krystal Aulie at 306-798-0947 or email

If you have an idea for a similar event, you may be eligible for funding through the Agriculture Awareness Initiative Program (AAIP). This program funds projects that enhance the public perception of agriculture, create awareness of its role in the economy and promote the diversity of agricultural careers. AAIP is offered under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial funding initiative.

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