Manitoba Co-Operator: Getting schooled in agriculture
Growing up in Winnipeg, Antonio Deluca didn’t have much exposure to the farm.
These days however, he’s enrolled in the agriculture diploma program at the University of Manitoba, one of an increasing number of non-traditional students pulled into the program by the promise of interesting work and strong employment opportunities.
He recently got a hands-on introduction to the industry through work with Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI).
As a student who excelled in agriculture communications courses, he took on the task of building up the organization’s website design and social media presence to educate urbanites during the summer of 2017.
“It was a special experience for me,” said Deluca. “I didn’t come from an agriculture background and I went in at MBFI on that premise. I learned so much about the MBFI research, brand and the goals of the organization.
One of his target audience was other students at the university.
Michele Rogalsky, chair of the School of Agriculture, says partnerships like the one between the MBFI and university give students without an agriculture background an opportunity to learn practical lessons about the sector as well as giving students from the farm insight into other sectors.
She also noted stakeholders like MBFI will be vital to increasing the amount of experiential learning in the school’s new curriculum.
“Industry stakeholders were actively involved in shaping the revised diploma curriculum and are partnering to help deliver it,” she said. “This year MBFI has provided opportunities for students to apply these skills as developing agricultural professionals.”