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Agri Aware launches agriculture and food educational resource for primary school students

Pictured launching Agri Aware's Dig In! for primary schools is Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed T.D, Agri Aware Chairman Richard Moeran, Executive Director Deirdre O'Shea, students from Analeentha National School and Agri Aware's patrons

Agri Aware, the independent agri-food educational body, has launched a new version of its primary school resource, Dig in! with the backing of the Department of Agriculture.

First developed by Agri Aware in 2006, Dig in! is a key resource for teaching children about all aspects of agriculture and food including farming, healthy eating, farm and countryside safety, the Common Agricultural Policy and food security. The resource, which is directly linked to the science, geography, and social, personal and health education curricula will be sent to over 3,300 primary schools in the coming weeks. There are 20 lesson plans and four modules which correspond to different age levels and learning abilities of primary school students.

Agri Aware understands the importance of teaching children at an early age about agriculture and the role it plays in their lives - giving them the tools to become educated consumers in adult life. Through Dig in! Agri Aware aims to educate children on the connection between the food they eat and farming with the backing of the European Commission and Agri Aware’s industry patrons.

Agri Aware's Education and Development Executive, Dr Elizabeth Finnegan at the Dig in! launch in Fota Wildlife Park

Speaking at the launch in Fota Wildlife Park, Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said: “Teaching children about agriculture and food origin is important. Agri Aware’s Dig in! resource will aid primary school teachers in educating their students on all aspects of agriculture. Children can learn about where their food comes from, how to stay safe in the countryside, which animals are popular on Irish farms, and what role we all play in keeping our countryside clean. The Department of Agriculture is endorsing Dig in! and asking all primary schools to utilise this fantastic free resource.”

Agri Aware’s Chairman, Richard Moeran added: “Dig in! is for all children. Whether they are from an urban or rural background, they can learn valuable lessons about food origin, CAP, farm safety, and more. Thanks to the support of the Department of Agriculture, European Commission, IFA and over 70 agri-food industry patrons we have updated our Dig in! resource. Teachers will receive this free resource in the post over the coming weeks and we encourage them to use it as part of their lesson plan.”

Deirdre O’Shea, Executive Director, Agri Aware, concluded: “Teachers have the opportunity to educate children on the vital role that agriculture plays in our daily lives. Learning about agriculture from an early age helps to encourage healthy eating habits and nurtures children into becoming informed consumers in adult life. The newest edition of Dig in! features lessons on all aspects of agriculture such as sustainability, food security, agriculture in Africa and the Common Agricultural Policy.”