Students in Nova Scotia will learn more about the importance of agriculture directly from local farmers during the fifth annual Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week, which runs until March 5. Farmers and other volunteers will visit Grade 4 classrooms across Nova Scotia to read to students about farming and share their passion for agriculture. The goal is to connect students directly with local farmers, increasing their understanding of the contributions made by agriculture, which delivered $567 million in farm cash receipts in 2014. “A strong agriculture sector is critical to Nova Scotia’s future,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We need to make sure our youth understand that and raise their interest in a career in farming or other agriculture-related industries.” Mr. Colwell will visit Grade 4 students at O’Connell Drive Elementary School in Porter’s Lake, Tuesday, March 1. He will read from Explore Farming in Nova Scotia: From Honey Bees to Maple Trees!, published by the Department of Agriculture. Aimed at nine and 10-year-olds, it will be left as a gift along with other curriculum-related activities. “My students are excited about exploring the world of agriculture, connecting with someone from the industry and understanding the important role it plays in our lives,” said Sandy Gillie, Grade 4 teacher at O’Connell Drive Elementary School. Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week is an educational initiative of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada and the Nova Scotia Agricultural Awareness Committee and with the support of Farm Credit Canada. “As the agriculture industry grows, so does the need for additional talented, energetic and well-educated young people,” said Michael Hoffort, president and CEO of Farm Credit Canada. “Given that one in eight jobs in Canada is tied to the agri-food industry, there are a lot of opportunities for young people. Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week can stimulate some passion at an early age.” Agriculture in Nova Scotia accounted for more than $385 million in exports in 2015, a 21 per cent increase over 2014. “It is important to educate our youth about the significance of agriculture to the economy of Nova Scotia,” said Chris van den Heuvel, president of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “Events like Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week create opportunities for farmers to share their story and provide first-hand examples of what is done on their farm.” More information about Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week is available at http://www.aitc-canada.ca/en/calw.html.
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer spending grew 0.6% in July, a healthy gain that suggests American shoppers are driving the economy forward.The Commerce Department also said Friday that personal incomes rose just 0.1%, the smallest gain in 10 months. With spending ahead of incomes, the savings rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest since last November, but still a solid figure by historic standards.With trade war tensions discouraging business investment and cutting into exports, consumers are increasingly important to the U.S. economy. Household spending was the principal driver of growth in the April-June quarter, when it increased by the most in five years.An inflation measure in the report increased 0.2% in July and 1.4% from a year earlier, evidence that inflation remains mild. Excluding food and energy, core prices rose 0.2% in July and 1.6% from a year ago.The anemic income increase follows a string of healthy gains this year that have helped fuel Americans’ ability to spend. In July, wages and salaries grew more slowly than in recent months and income from interest payments fell sharply. Wages and salaries paid by manufacturing firms also dropped.The inflation figures fell short of the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, as they have nearly continuously since the Fed set its target in 2012. The Fed targets a modest amount of inflation as a cushion against deflation, a destabilizing drop in prices and incomes.Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has cited low inflation as one reason the central bank cut short-term interest rates at its meeting last month. Most economists forecast additional rate cuts this year.Consumers are keeping the economy afloat but growth has still slowed this year, to a 2% annual pace in the second quarter from 3.1% in the first three months of the year.Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press