Monsanto Canada Inc.

Monsanto Canada Inc.
University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources

University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources

December 04, 2006 13:07 ET

University of Saskatchewan Program Gets USD$150,000 Boost from Monsanto Fund

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 4, 2006) - A program developed by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture and Bioresources aimed at showcasing agricultural sciences as a vital and dynamic career choice for students has been awarded a USD$150,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund.

The Experience Science in Agriculture program is an innovative hands-on program allowing students and teachers from across Western Canada to experience first hand, the many benefits and opportunities offered by leading-edge agricultural sciences. The program aims to raise the profile of agriculture; showcase the industry as an exciting field in which to build rewarding careers; attract new students to the College and help students and parents better understand careers in today's agricultural sector will depend on good science for success.

An in-province pilot program is currently engaging local teachers and workshops are planned to start in the spring of 2007. All material is structured to meet the goals of the Saskatchewan science curriculum targeted at students and educators interacting with youth between the ages of 13-18 years old. Through its teacher training component and direct student engagement, training assistance will be provided to science educators in order to better equip them to teach agricultural and science-related concepts in the classroom. Once teachers are trained, these same concepts will be transferred to students in the classroom or lab setting where they will have the opportunity to understand the science behind certain experiments and get hands-on exposure to modern laboratory equipment and processes.

"Individuals involved in agricultural sciences today utilize some of the most modern and complex scientific principles in their day-to-day work," said Dr. Ernie Barber, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. "We hope this program will expand student perspectives in agricultural science and bridge a critical gap between the popular, but incorrect, perception of agriculture and the real opportunities that a career in the agricultural science affords."

The Monsanto Fund grant - which will be paid out over a three year period that began this fall - has allowed the College to expand its programming and outreach to provide a unique, multi-dimensional, high impact program that reaches out to youth and educators across Western Canada. In addition to the in-class component, Experience Science in Agriculture also promotes agricultural sciences through a high school presentation program and at local and national trade and education fairs throughout Western Canada.

"In order to increase the percentage of students pursuing a science-based post secondary education in agriculture, students must have a comprehensive understanding of the education and career opportunities available and be exposed to the opportunities that exist," said program manager, Jon Treloar. "Through high school presentations and our presence at career fairs and agricultural shows we have reached over 5,000 students and educators since we launched the program. Over time, we are confident this program will make a difference and help elevate the profile of agriculture in the community."

Established in 1964, the Monsanto Fund (www.monsantofund.org) is Monsanto Company's philanthropic arm. It aims to bridge the gap between people's needs and their available resources. Through the Monsanto Fund and its regular corporate giving program, Monsanto Canada seeks out opportunities to support groups or programs with a direct connection to agriculture, providing funding to programs that focus on science and agricultural education; agricultural awareness; leadership and development opportunities for rural youth; and farm safety. Monsanto Canada has also been a strong supporter of the College's summer AgAdventures program aimed at elementary school children.

"With its focus on technology and the field of science, Monsanto sees this program as practical way to expose students to realistic, science-based concepts applied in the agricultural sector today and it is certainly in keeping with our focus on attracting the best and brightest young minds to studies and eventually careers in agriculture," said Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada's public affairs lead and coordinator of Monsanto Canada's corporate giving program. "Helping students understand the many exciting and rewarding opportunities that exist in agriculture is important to the future of our business and important to agriculture as a whole."

The Experience Science in Agriculture program is available to all schools in Saskatchewan. Since communication began in 2005, over 50 high schools in Saskatchewan and 75 high schools throughout Western Canada have been exposed to the materials and concepts offered through the program.

Contact Information

  • College of Agriculture and Bioresources
    Jon Treloar
    Program Manager
    Experience Science in Agriculture
    (306) 229-8947
    or
    Monsanto Canada
    Trish Jordan
    Public Affairs Lead
    (204) 985-1005