Agri Aware launches Incredible Edibles Family Challenge to educate and entertain primary school families during social distancing period
Agri Aware is launching its popular Incredible Edibles primary school programme to families to participate in during the current period of school closures and social distancing on Monday, April 6th.
Agri Aware is encouraging families to learn all about where food comes from and the importance of consumption of Irish fruit and vegetables, for a healthy balanced diet through its new Incredible Edibles Family Challenge!
From planting and reusing materials at home to learning facts and getting creative, Incredible Edibles Family Challenge is sure to educate and entertain all ages!
Any parent can sign up their children for free and on completion of the tasks, may be in with a chance to win some prizes, worth up to €175.
Parents are simply asked to take pictures of the worksheets provided for on the Incredible Edibles website and write a description on what they did for each task. There are also two levels to facilitate different abilities of learning - beginner and advanced.
Speaking about the new Incredible Edibles Family Challenge Agri Aware Executive Director, Marcus O’Halloran stated: “Agri Aware is delighted to launch our popular Incredible Edibles Family Challenge programme to primary school children and their families during this period of social distancing which is sometimes challenging, especially for young families.
“Due to the rise in popularity in gardening and growing Irish produce in recent weeks, we felt it was the right time to launch this new programme that is based on our well-known Incredible Edibles programme which over 1,000 primary schools have taken part in every year, for the last 12 years.
“We’d like to thank our patrons and sponsors for their support of Incredible Edibles Family challenge and dedication to Incredible Edibles down through the years.”
Agri Aware Chairman, Alan Jagoe added: "With a growing urban population in Ireland it is more important than ever that primary school children know where their food comes from and that Irish farmers play a huge role in producing the food that ends up in their lunchbox or on their dinner plate. If children learn this in primary school it gives them a greater appreciation and knowledge of Irish food and farming going forward throughout their lifetime."
To sign up to this free project, or for more information, parents can visit:
Agri Aware and UCD come to the rescue of Ag Science students and teachers with virtual educational resources
Due to the threat of Covid-19, Agri Aware was forced to cancel its recent planned Farm Walk and Talk event at UCD Lyons Farm which would have seen hundreds of students welcomed to the farm to learn about the practicalities of farming, with a focus on sustainability from key industry experts.
However, all was not lost! Thanks to the co-operation of UCD staff and Traction Media, Agri Aware recently filmed a virtual Farm Walk and Talk experience at UCD Lyons Farm to aid students gain key study advice for their Leaving Certificate Exam and a practical insight into sustainable farming.
Pictured at the launch of Agri Aware Farm Walk 2020 are 5th year Wesley College Students, Sophie Doyle Smyth, Christopher Bailey, Rachel Patterson, Avalily l’Estrange, Ethan O’Connor and Sophie Tanner Wall with Katriona Kinsella of The Farmers Journal, Liam Herlihy Chairman of Teagasc, Alan Jagoe Chairman of Agri Aware, Marcus O’Halloran Executive Director of Agri Aware and Dr Bridget Lynch UCD School of Agriculture. Picture: Patrick Browne
Over 3,000 Agricultural Science secondary school students will swap their school books for welly boots this March to take part in Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk 2020 series.
The event series which takes places from March 2 to 13 will focus on the sustainability of Irish agriculture and will allow students gain a practical insight into Irish farming through a range of hands on visits to Teagasc farms, UCD Lyons Farm and the Irish Farmer’s Journal Farm.
As improving sustainability in Irish agriculture is the key theme of the 2021 Agricultural Science project and central to the new syllabus, Teagasc experts and key patrons will be on hand to inform students of the activities Irish farmers are undertaking in order to reduce their carbon footprint and make their farms more environmentally and economically sustainable.
From examining soil profiles and viewing new technologies to watching cows being milked and comparing different breeds of sheep, the Farm Walk and Talk series is an unmissable experience for Leaving Cert Agricultural Science students who want to experience real life on a farm.
The fun and educational events include presentations from Teagasc lecturers as well as a variety of Agri Aware patrons who provide industry and curriculum linked talks. Dairygold, Glanbia, Aurivo, Arrabawn and Lakeland Dairies will give informative talks on the Irish dairy industry, while Slaney Meats, ABP, Dawn Meats, Kepak and Truly Irish will be on hand to educate students about the Irish meat sector.
Speaking at the launch of the Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk 2020 series in UCD Lyons Farm today, Agri Aware Executive Director Marcus O’Halloran said:
“As sustainability is a key component of the new Agricultural Science syllabus we felt it was only right to make it a focus of Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk 2020 which has become a major event highlight of the Agricultural Science calendar over the last number of years.
“The events are a brilliant opportunity for students to engage with industry experts and Agri Aware wouldn’t be able to facilitate them without the help of Teagasc, UCD, IASTA and our patrons from the agri-food industry.”
Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe added: “We are delighted to host over 3,000 students at these events nationwide which we believe are key to giving young people an accurate insight in to farming and enticing them to consider a career in the diverse Irish agri food sector.
“For many students this will be their first time ever stepping foot on a working farm which will help in increasing awareness of sustainable food production and bridging the gap between young consumers and producers.”
While Teagasc chair Liam Herlihy stated that Teagasc colleges and research centres are delighted to once again host students as part of the Farm Walk and Talk series.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the sustainability of Irish farming and to highlight the actions being taken on farms to protect our water, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage biodiversity.”
From Incredible Edibles to AgCredibles, read what Agri Aware has been up to in January!
Click the button below to listen to Agri Aware Director Deirdre O'Shea's chat with journalist Tamara Payne about the role of women in agriculture.
Tipperary native Marcus O’Halloran has been appointed to the role of Executive Director of the Irish agri educational body, Agri Aware.
Marcus is currently working for the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) as the Regional Executive for counties Tipperary and Clare. He has held numerous roles within the organisation including Countryside Development Executive.
Marcus holds the distinction of being the first Agricultural Science student to be elected to the prestigious position of president of the students’ union while in his alma mater - UCD.
During his term as president he delivered numerous successful events, raised substantial funds from external partners and significantly increased participation rates in events.
Joining the team
Speaking this week, Marcus said he is looking forward to taking up his new post.
“I am delighted to be joining Agri Aware as Executive Director. The agri industry is facing many difficult challenges with public perception of our production systems under constant attack,” said Mr O’Halloran.
“The organisation has supported the positive message of agriculture to the public for 20 years and will play a pivotal role in turning around this negative narrative into the future.”
Agri Aware Chairman, Alan Jagoe, said he is looking forward to Marcus joining the Agri Aware team.
“Marcus will bring a host of new skillsets and experience to the organisation and will be a dynamic team leader at a time of considerable change in the industry,” said Mr Jagoe.
“Promoting the positive message of agriculture to the general public and communicating the important role that Irish farmers play has been never more important. I wish Marcus the very best of luck in his new role”.
Marcus will take over the role from current Executive Director Deirdre O’Shea at the end of February.
Today (December 1st) Agri Aware launched its December Social Media Campaign, “What does buying local mean?”, to raise awareness among consumers about the importance of buying local and supporting Irish farmers and food producers this Christmas.
The campaign aims to celebrate Irish farmers and small businesses across the country by expressing the many benefits of supporting local businesses and buying seasonal products for their festive feasts this Christmas.
The three-week long campaign will feature a daily video from various Agri Aware patron members, sharing with consumers what buying local means to them, up until Christmas Day. The videos aim to tell a collective story that by supporting Irish farmers and small businesses, you are supporting Irish jobs, communities, businesses, and the wider circular economy of Ireland.
The videos will be broadcasted across Agri Aware’s social media channels and website. There is also a competition for the public to get involved in the campaign by liking and sharing the videos, and using the hashtag #BuyLocalBuyIrish to be in with the chance to win a family pass to Dublin Zoo. Head to www.agriaware.ie/buylocal for more information.
Alan Jagoe, Chairman of Agri Aware said in regards to the campaign: “Buying local and buying Irish means supporting the farmers of Ireland, who work tirelessly to produce food for both the 4.8 million people living in Ireland and 50 million across the globe. Money that is spent locally is put back into the communities and wider economies of Ireland, harnessing the magic of the many small towns and villages that make our Irish countryside so unique and homely”.
Thousands of pupils set to sow, grow and cook with Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles programme
Agri Aware today (Monday 4th November) launched its national healthy eating initiative “Incredible Edibles”. Now in its 12th year, the free initiative for primary schools aims to educate students on how to sow, grow and cook an array of Irish fruit and vegetables to help them get their 7 a day! Schools across Ireland will receive free grow packs including compost, seeds to grow their own school garden along with curriculum-linked interactive educational resources – including lessons on food origin, the health benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and cooking tasks.
According to the National Children’s Food Survey 2019, conducted by the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA), intakes of fruit and vegetables are still low amongst 5 – 12-year olds in Ireland, about 3 servings per day, well below the recommended 5 to 7-a-day.
Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles is a free healthy eating initiative that is supported by the Department of Education and the Department of Health through the Healthy Ireland framework, the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia and the horticulture industry.
Speaking at the launch, Chairman of Agri Aware, Alan Jagoe said: “There are a number of benefits to school gardens. As a farmer myself, it is great to see children learn first-hand how to grow and cook their own healthy foods, as well as learning about the work carried out by Irish farmers to produce food for 50 million consumers worldwide. By empowering students in this way, you are guiding them towards a healthier lifestyle. Healthy eating guidelines now suggest that children consume seven+ portions of fruit and vegetables a day – Incredible Edibles is a free healthy eating resource which teachers can use to increase awareness of the production and consumption of healthy Irish produce”.
To register your school for the project or for further information visit www.incredibleedibles.ie
It’s Hedgerow Week! This week aims to emphasise and promote the importance of protecting the quality of our native Irish hedgerows in order to support habitats for all species who rely on them.
To celebrate Irish Bioeconomy Week, Agri Aware, Beacon Bioeconomic Research Centre and UCD Agriculture & Food Science teamed up to bring the 5th class students of D7 Educate Together an educational module “Gut Health – It’s a pig deal!” in the family farm at Dublin Zoo. The students got to learn how after a piglet is weaned from its mother, the transition from milk to solid food can cause bad bacteria to grow in the pig’s large intestine, leading to sickness and infection.
Natural remedies to encourage the growth of good bacteria and fight off bad bacteria are mushrooms and seaweed.This is because they both contain special types of carbohydrates, which don’t break down easily in the stomach. Instead, these carbohydrates get broken down in the large intestine, and help to improve pig gut health!
The students then received a tour of family farm, with a special stop at the pig’s pen to have a go at feeding them mushrooms themselves and a certificate of achievement to bring home!