Thursday, August 11, 2022

Call for farmers to teach the next generation

Marie Burke, pictured with husband Rob, says Farmer Time is a great programme and she really encourage fellow farmers to sign up.

Farmers are being sought for a new initiative that will give primary and intermediate school pupils a better understanding of food production.

Farmer Time sees farmers link up with classrooms through video call technology to talk about growing food and fibre.

Pupils can regularly chat live with their matched farmer, gaining an understanding of farming across the seasons and providing real-world examples of what they’re learning during the school year.

Beef + Lamb Inc chief executive Kit Arkwright is keen to see food producers from all sectors get involved.

“Farmer Time puts actual farmers in front of children and gives them genuine insights into how our food is being produced. The feedback from both teachers and farmers has been incredible,” Arkwright said.

A pilot programme, which involves eight farmer-teacher pairings across six schools with approximately 184 pupils, ran across term one, with many pairing staying with the programme in term two.

Marie Burke, a sheep, beef and crop farmer from Tairāwhiti-Gisborne region, is one of the farmers participating in the pilot. 

She is paired with a school in Orewa, Auckland.

“Farmer Time is such a great programme and I really encourage fellow farmers to sign up. The teachers and children we’ve been matched with have loved learning about what we do and how we grow food,” Burke said.

“My husband was initially unsure when I first mentioned Farmer Time, but he’s really enjoyed the interactions we’ve had with the class we’re matched with, and is now almost a bigger fan than I am.”

Food producers who want to get involved or find out more information can visit: www.farmertime.co.nz

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