A fresh indignity for Canada's smallest province: 'Where is P.E.I.?'
CHARLOTTETOWN — P.E.I. is smaller than Algonquin park, and has fewer residents than Oakville, Ont., so it's used to being overlooked from time to time.
Bethany Condon, a student in Olivia MacDougall’s Grade 3 class at Sherwood Elementary School in Charlottetown, spends some time with Scottie, the mini-pigmy during an agriculture lecture at the school on Wednesday.
©TC MEDIA/Dave Stewart
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The miniature goats were an immediate hit in the Grade 3-4 class at Sherwood Elementary School on Wednesday.
One quickly offered to trade in her brother’s PS4 for Scottie the goat.
Sadly for the student, Flory Sanderson, co-owner of Island Hill Farm in Hampshire, says she isn’t parting with any of her beloved creatures.
Sanderson was one of two P.E.I. farmers taking part in the Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) event at Sherwood on Wednesday. Farmers were also participating at two other Island schools – Queen Charlotte Intermediate School and Cardigan Elementary School.
Goats from Island Hill Farm are going on the road
Tuesday, March 21 – Indigo, 11 a.m.; Tiny Tots at farm, 1-3 p.m.
Thursday, March 23 - Confederation Centre of the Arts library; 11 a.m.
Friday, March 24 - Confederation Centre of the Arts library; 11 a.m.
Rayanne Frizzell, CALM co-ordinator, said the event involved a breakfast featuring Island products and then listening the presentations.
“Today is really about the fact that we’re connecting the food that they’re eating was produced by farmers right here in P.E.I., making that connection that these are actual farmers, that there are people here who work really hard to produce the food they eat every day,’’ Frizzell said.
She went on to make the point that a lot of Island children don’t get exposed to farm life and those that do certainly don’t see it that often.
Sanderson said she thinks bringing education into the classrooms is a great idea.
“I love it. I think kids need to learn about this. It’s fun, they get to touch them and feel them and just enjoy,’’ Sanderson, who had her social media company Higher Design with her, was pleased with the connection the students made with her goats.
“I think the kids are getting a lot from it because not everyone gets to see livestock and we can bring them in. They’re friendly and they’re enjoying it as much as the kids are.’’
The young students peppered Sanderson with all sorts of questions, from how big the goats grow to why some of them faint.
Amy Bysterveldt of Winterbay Farm, the other farmer to talk to students at Sherwood, spoke about life on a dairy farm.
She was pretty pumped to be talking to the class.
“I think it’s incredibly rewarding as a farmer to be able to share our story and to share the positive news story about agriculture, the hard work that we do,’’ Bysterveldt said.
“A lot of these kids . . . aren’t as exposed to that large conventional type of agriculture so I think it’s important for them to know about all of agriculture and this is a really good way to do that.’’
Olivia MacDougall, the class teacher, thinks her class learned a lot.
“I think it is really important for the students to know all about agriculture as it is one of our primary sectors,’’ MacDougall said. “Often students just assume that food comes from grocery stores.’’