Agriculture in the Classroom

New Resource - Challenging Conditions - Launch

New Resource Explores Lives of Small-Scale Farmers in Developing Countries with Canadian Students

(Winnipeg, MB March 4, 2015) The challenges faced by the world’s hungriest people might seem distant and foreign to many Manitoba grade seven students. But now a new resource from Canadian Foodgrains Bank, created in collaboration with Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba, and with financial support from Syngenta Canada as part of its Good Growth Plan, is helping to bridge that gap.

Called Challenging Conditions, the new resource is linked to the province’s grade seven social studies curriculum, but can be used by teachers across the country from grades seven to 12 as well.

Through the resource, students can learn what life is like for subsistence farmers in the developing world, and explore the challenges they face such as health, conflict, gender dynamics, environment and climate change.

For example, students can explore what can happen to poor farmers when crops fail due to changing rain patterns, what happens when farmers are affected by AIDS or malaria and can’t work, or the devastating effects of conflict that forces families off their land. They can also learn ways farmers are overcoming these challenges, sometimes with assistance from international development organizations like the Foodgrains Bank.

“We’re excited at the opportunity Manitoba teachers now have to share with their students about what small-scale farmers go through on a regular basis,” says John Longhurst, Director of Resources and Public Engagement for the Foodgrains Bank.

"Partnerships are the cornerstone of Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba’s success in increasing agriculture awareness in young people,” says Johanne Ross, the Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom’s Manitoba branch. “It’s critical to have a team effort when it comes to being a communication vehicle for teachers to deliver curriculum linked information on agriculture that is accurate balanced and current."

Adds Chris Davison, Head of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta Canada: “This new curriculum resource is a valuable educational tool for school age students to learn about agriculture in developing countries. It’s good to be part of an initiative here in Canada that is focused on increasing awareness and understanding of food security from a broader global perspective.”

Manitoba teachers can order Challenging Conditions from Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba at Teachers in other provinces will soon be able to find an online version on the Canadian Foodgrains Bank website at The online resource will also be available in French.

Agriculture in the Classroom- Manitoba Inc. is a non-profit organization supported by individuals and the agriculture industry. The organization runs several programs throughout the year including the Amazing Agriculture Adventure, The Made in Manitoba Breakfast Program, gardening projects, farm tours and other special events. AITC-M also develops and distributes teacher resources to help deliver agriculture information for use within the school curriculum.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. In the 2013-14 budget year, the Foodgrains Bank provided $42 million of assistance for 1.2 million people in 42 countries. Canadian Foodgrains Bank projects are undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada.


For more information, please contact:
Johanne Ross
Executive Director
Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba Inc.
204- 867-0437
Follow @aitcmb