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Celebrating important contributions

MLA Warren Michelson's column from this week's issue of The Moose Jaw Express
MLAsColumn_WarrenMichelson
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

It was an honour to attend the 7th annual PRISM Awards and be inspired by the contributions of the thirty-five nominees. Congratulations to all the nominees and to the award recipients: Julie Knox (Perseverance), Jackie Wilson (Role Model), Roberta Fonger (Influential), Marcy Duffey (Successful), Jocelyn MacLeod (Mentor), Jaimee Lynn-Hodgson (Youth Achievement), and Joan Buckmaster (Lifetime Achievement). Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our community.

Thank you also to the Business Women of Moose Jaw and the organizing committee for putting on the event, and raising important funds for Transition House. Highlighting the contributions and achievements of these exceptional women encourages and motivates other women and girls to strive and persevere. 

The PRISM Awards are held around International Women’s Day each year. Saskatchewan celebrated International Women’s Day this year with a focus on women in our communities who are agents of change. To help young women and girls see a range of options available to them and see that they are not limited by traditional gender roles, Saskatchewan recognized a number of women who are breaking barriers through their example.

Kim Keller and Lesley Rae-Kelly are two of these women. They are farmers and founding members of the Do More Agriculture Foundation which advocates to erase the stigma around mental health and farm stress for the agricultural community. They are part of a growing number of women who are farmers in Saskatchewan. 

Some of these women farm operators will be showing up in classrooms this month. March is Agriculture Literacy Month, a time in which brings producers and industry professionals to the classroom to give students the opportunity to learn where the food on their plate comes from. This is especially important in Saskatchewan where agriculture is one of our major industries.

There was a time when everyone in Saskatchewan had grandparents, aunts or uncles, or cousins who lived and worked on a farm. Today, this is no longer the case, and there are many myths and misconceptions about food and agriculture. Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month is an opportunity to encourage students to learn about and celebrate Canada’s remarkable agriculture and food story.

Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan is coordinating classroom visits throughout the province during Agriculture Literacy Month. They are a registered charity that partners with the agriculture and education communities to connect kids and agriculture through innovative, experiential, curriculum-based programs and resources.

By connecting classrooms with farmers and people who have a passion for agriculture and food, students and teachers learn the facts about farming firsthand through the personal stories shared by the volunteer visiting with them. Last year during Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month, 1,157 volunteers reached 58,662 students in 2,515 classrooms across Canada.  

We have a tremendous legacy of women and men who, with their determination and innovation, built the agriculture industry in our province. Today’s farmers and ranchers continue to contribute so much, and I’m glad they are being recognized during Agriculture Literacy Month.

Editor's Note: This column was written before Saskatchewan's classrooms were closed.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  



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