“Farming Affects Oceans. Chemicals Hurt Habitats & Species. They also decrease oxygen levels.”
This was the message shared on the campus billboard for Outlook Elementary School of the Sun West Division. The school, located in Outlook, Saskatchewan, put up the sign on May 25th. After MP Andrew Scheer shared an image of the billboard on his social media, residents were outraged by the ill-informed message, seemingly coming from the school staff and students.
Andrew Scheer captioned the post: “This is unbelievable and infuriating. We all benefit from modern farming. Without it, food would be unaffordable for most people. Canadian agricultural practices are the best in the world and we should be celebrating it, not attacking it. Especially in Saskatchewan. I just spoke to the principal, and am relieved that the sign has been changed. Let’s hope the kids in this school get the full picture. Radical activists should not be indoctrinating our kids like this.”
Sun West quickly shared an apology for the sign. The school division posted a lengthy public message to the community via the Outlook Elementary School Facebook page:
“Sun West apologizes to the community in Outlook and the agriculture community in general for the message placed on the sign at Outlook Elementary School on May 25. The message was unfair to the agricultural industry and we understand why many people, especially those whose livelihood comes from farming, found it offensive. Sun West is a rural school division and deeply committed to agriculture. We offer a variety of courses in agriculture and our students participate in programs that promote agriculture. Sun West enjoys a number of very positive and productive partnerships with agriculture industry stakeholders, and it is our goal to improve agricultural literacy in our school division.”
The billboard was promptly replaced with the more positive and rural-farming-community-friendly message of “Agriculture - the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man - Washington.”
Community members weren’t convinced by the updated message, and many questioned how the disrespectful and misinformed signage was approved in the first place.