Coming up this week the Portage la Prairie School will be hosting Agriculture in the Classroom's (AITC) Career Fair, where 1100 students will be able to participate in hands-on experiences at the different booths in many different aspects of agriculture; from a career in veterinary, machining and technology, grain marketing, cattle production, and so much more that all revolves around the Ag and food industry.

An important part of this career fair is the Holland Code assessment tool that each student will complete prior to participating in the career fair, to narrow down all the possibilities according to the students' strengths and interests. The Holland Code theory identifies 6 broad career interest area: think, create, help, motivate, organize and build.

"Each exhibitor at the career fair will prominently display the Holland Codes associated with the careers they represent, shares AITC Executive Director, Katharine Cherewyk. "In addition, we encourage exhibitors to provide information about salary ranges and the educational pathways required for each career."

The Holland Code is a unique and focused tool that gives direction and suggestions to students who aren't sure what career they should pursue.

Cherewyk says she would have appreciated this kind of direction when she was in high school.  She notes that job security and financial stability were her priorities when deciding on a career.  So, careers like a pharmacist or teacher were prominent careers to pursue and gave stability but didn't necessarily align with her passions and interests.  However, her love for science and ecology springboarded her career into the agriculture industry.

She first acquired her Agri-ecology Degree and then her Master's Degree in Aquatic ecology through the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences through the Department of Etymology at the University of Manitoba.

"I was also lucky to work with First Nations across Canada working on environmental issues and doing some climate change research," she explains, "and then came back to the [Ag] industry after many years and started working at Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba as a Program Manager, and then as an Operations Manager and Fundraiser, and now I'm the Executive Director."

 "I love it. I love this industry.  I love where it's going. I love all the opportunities that exist and I'm super passionate to help educators to understand what it is to feel comfortable to talking about it," shares Cherewyk, "and to give their students the opportunity to learn more so that they can make a really well-informed decision about whether or not they want to work in the industry, or just how to support the industry through the decisions that they're going to have to make, like how they vote, and where they buy food and what food they buy, how they support getting food to their plate."

"We all need to eat, and this is the most important industry we have right now, so I'm passionate to work with educators and to work with the industry to ensure that this information is presented in an accurate and balanced way!  I think it's super exciting!"

Please listen to more with Katharnie Cherewyk below as she shares more of her story!

For educators who are interested in having the Agriculture in the Classroom visit their school for an information session, or a career fair visit their website or click HERE!

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