Primary school students to learn about paddock to plate through Federal Government program

By Rodney Woods

The VFF and NSW Farmers’ Association will help roll out a Federal Government program for primary school students to better understand what the country's farmers do.

The $4.75 million program, Educating Kids About Agriculture: Kids to Farms grant program, was a key election commitment, according to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

“This exciting program will see our state and territory farming organisations connect our kids with farms and provide them with a real hands-on experience and insight into what's involved from the paddock to the plate,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We want to give our kids a greater understanding of the important role Australia's thriving agriculture sector plays in our society and these immersive, real-life experiences on-farm is sure to spark a life-long love of the land.

“A key part of this program is to showcase to our kids the breadth of career opportunities available in agriculture.

“The kids of today will be the farmers, agri-scientists, livestock agents, biosecurity officers - even ag ministers - of tomorrow.”

VFF president David Jochinke said the biggest challenge would be to spread the grant strategically.

“The challenge will be to make it meaningful and make it targeted by partnering with people who have good pathways and knowledge of schools,” Mr Jochinke said.

He said the program would give students a greater understanding of what farmers really did.

“Too often the only understanding is through Old MacDonald,” he said.

“What we want to do is give them an understanding of the reality of what goes on.

“We also need to let them know that agriculture wants them.

“It's not just driving tractors or milking cows, it's the local accountant, truck drivers who pick up product.

“That's just some of the fundamentals that we hope the program touches on.”