Agri Aware campaign to teach pupils about food production

A cash prize and an Agri Aware Mobile Farm visit are up for grabs for primary school classes that bring the ‘Dig In!’ farming and food education resource to life in their learning.

Agri Aware, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), launched its revitalised ‘Dig In! Learning About Life on the Countryside’ resource aimed at primary school students in November 2020.

The agri-food educational body has now launched a competition to encourage teachers to bring the resource to life and reconnect their students with how the food that ends up on their dinner plates is produced from farm to fork.

Criteria for campaign

Teachers are being asked to complete one suggested activity from three of the following six ‘Dig In!’ topics: the Irish farmer; cattle; sheep; pigs; cereals and grasses; and poultry.

Students will be in with a chance of winning first prize of €500 and an Agri Aware Mobile Farm visit to their school and second prize of an Agri Aware Mobile Farm visit to their school.

The competition is open to all primary school levels and entries close on Friday, April 30, 2021.

Agri Aware said that the ‘Dig In!’ resource can be downloaded in digital format and makes for an “exciting and educational curriculum-linked resource” that can be used during the current home-schooling period.

Dig In!

‘Dig In!’ is divided into four modules according to levels of ability for junior and senior infants; first and second class; third and fourth class; and fifth and sixth class.

Each module contains 20 ready-to-go lesson plans and corresponding activities.

Children will gain an insight into all aspects of Irish farming, from learning how animals are reared and crops are grown, to understanding the role hedgerows play to promote biodiversity on Irish farms.

Speaking about the launch of the ‘Dig In!’ competition, Agri Aware chairman and dairy and tillage farmer, Alan Jagoe from Co. Cork said: “We are delighted to launch this competition to encourage teachers to use Dig In! as an innovative learning resource for their students.

“The overall winner will receive €500 and a visit from our Mobile Farm when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

The Mobile Farm is a unique outdoor classroom experience which educates young and old about the different farm animals on Irish farms and their role in producing quality food, while explaining that Irish farmers use the highest animal welfare standards.

Jagoe also encouraged teachers and parents to use ‘Dig In! as a remote and home-school learning resource.