Students showcase Canadian food, farming

The following is a guest post by University of Guelph student Rebecca Hannam, who recently participated in a student exchange with agricultural communications students at Oklahoma State University.

Members of CanACT, the Canadian Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow at the University of Guelph who visited Oklahoma State University (OSU) earlier this semester were featured in this blog a few weeks ago. Recently, these students participated in the second part of their campus exchange program and hosted OSU students in Guelph.

In addition to an afternoon in Niagara Falls and time spent on campus, CanACT members welcomed the Oklahomans by showcasing Ontario agriculture on a day of tours. Stops at Gencor, Woodrill Farms Ltd., a beef feedlot and a family dairy farm were included in the itinerary, as well as a presentation by Guelph graduate and communicator Lianne Appleby from the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association.

According to OSU participants, the farm tour day gave them a great taste of Canadian agriculture. One of the most affecting talks for them was at Woodrill Ltd., a crop input supply and grain elevator business near Guelph, where Peter Hannam talked about crop farming practices in Ontario and new research that is creating market opportunities for Ontario growers.

Since soybeans aren’t widely grown in Oklahoma, Peter made sure to teach the OSU students about soybean production and also highlighted some of the new uses for the oilseed, such as the soy crayons he shared with the guests.

“Seeing how critical the soybean market is in Ontario was very interesting,” said Krista Anderson, OSU ag communications student. “It amazed us to learn about the opportunities that are available for soybeans.”

As an Ontario farm girl and future communicator, I was proud to showcase our local farms and agricultural organizations to fellow students. I hope that this CanACT travel initiative will inspire future exchanges so that other Ontario Agricultural College students can gain international perspectives in agriculture.

Rebecca Hannam was raised in a farming family and is now a member of the Ontario Agricultural College Class of 2012 at the University of Guelph. You can find Rebecca on Twitter @rebeccahannam.

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