A €500 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 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.
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.
Teachers can submit evidence that their class completed the activities by visiting agriaware.ie/digin and filling in the competition submission form. They 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 30th, 2021.
Agri Aware is also reminding teachers and parents that Dig In! 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! is divided into four modules according to levels of ability for Junior and Senior Infants; 1st&2nd class; 3rd&4th class and 5th&6th class. Each module contains 20 ready-to-go lesson plans and corresponding activities. Furthermore, each lesson plan is linked to strands of the English, Maths, Art, Drama, Science, Geography and SPHE curriculum.
Children will gain a real 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."
Mr Jagoe also encouraged teachers and parents to use Dig In! as a remote and home-school learning resource.
“All four Dig In! modules come in a digital format which can be easily accessed and downloaded from AgriAware.ie. Dig In! brings to life all aspects of modern farming in a child friendly, innovative and educational way and is sure to be useful to parents and teachers during this period of home-schooling.”
To access a digital version of the resource teachers and parents can visit: https://www.agriaware.ie/digin.html.
Festive Food Heroes campaign to shine a light on farmers and producers who make Christmas dinner possible
Agri Aware launches updated education programme aiming to reconnect Irish children to food and farming roots
Agri Aware, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched its revitalised Dig In! Learning About Life on the Countryside resource aimed at primary school students.
The resource, which is being sent to all of Ireland’s 3,240 primary schools this week, contains innovative modules that cover all aspects of Irish farming and food origin, from biodiversity friendly farming methods and animal welfare to healthy eating guidelines.
Agri Aware redeveloped and updated its Dig In! resource, first published in 2013, as it was increasingly observed that Irish children are becoming more and more disconnected to how the food that ends up on their dinner plates is produced from farm to fork.
Dig In!, which also comes as a digital resource, is divided into four modules according to levels of ability for Junior and Senior Infants; 1st&2nd class; 3rd&4th class and 5th&6th class. Each module contains 20 ready-to-go lesson plans and corresponding activities. Furthermore, each lesson plan is linked to strands of the English, Maths, Art, Drama, Science, Geography and SPHE curriculum.
Children will gain a real insight into all aspects of Irish farming, from learning how animals are reared and crops are grown, to understanding water pollution and how farmers can reduce their carbon footprint.
The revitalised resource also contains a first of its kind Irish Organic Farming Pull-Out Poster which highlights the growing involvement of Irish farmers in the sector in recent years.
Minister for State for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Pippa Hackett welcomed the launch of a revised Dig In! Educational resource, which is supported by her Department.
“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is delighted to support the launch of Dig In! which is a modern and innovative, educational resource. I would encourage teachers nationwide to incorporate it into their lesson plans and bring the positive story of Irish agriculture alive in classrooms,” said Minister Hackett.
“As an organic farmer, I am delighted that a special organic farming pull-out poster has been included in the resource. Organic farming is a growing sector in Ireland and it is important for Irish children to recognise its importance from an early age. I would like to congratulate Agri Aware on compiling this fantastic educational resource sure to be used by Irish schools for years to come.”
Speaking at the launch of Dig In!, Agri Aware Chairman and dairy and tillage farmer, Alan Jagoe from Co Cork said, “It has never been more important for Irish children to reconnect with farming and understand how their food is produced. Earlier in the year families were panic buying as they thought Covid-19 would disrupt food production, but farmers kept producing sustainable food while looking after their animals and the environment, like they do all year round.
“Dig In! gives Irish primary school students a real insight into Irish farming and food production. From the history of farming in Ireland and sustainable farm practices to biodiversity and the importance of food security, Dig In! brings to life all aspects of modern farming in a child friendly, innovative and educational way.”
INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation) President Mary Magner also welcomed the new resource in what has been a challenging 2020 for teachers.
“On behalf of the INTO, I am delighted to take part in the launch of Dig In! – a wonderful primary resource, which covers all aspects of farming in an interactive way. While it is engaging for pupils, the fact that the lesson plans are complementary to other subjects, such as English, Math, Art, Drama, Science, Geography and SPHE, means it is convenient and accessible for all teachers, no matter what their personal experience of farming may be,” said Ms Magner.
“In what has been a challenging year, Dig In! is a welcome, high-quality resource to have to hand. Each module contains 20 lesson plans and corresponding activities, available in English and as Gaeilge, and it covers a range of interesting topics at various levels of learning – from farm animals, food products and healthy eating to sustainability, food security and the European Common Agricultural Policy."
To learn more about Dig In!, teachers and families can follow @Agriaware on social media where it will be explaining the benefits of using the resource all this week. To access a digital version of the resource teachers can visit: https://www.agriaware.ie/digin.html
Agri Aware has launched its Faces of Farm Safety Campaign to mark National Farm Safety Week 2020, which is beginning today, July 20th.
Over the course of the week, farmers and well-known agri-business sector figures will feature on Agri Aware’s social media platforms, where they will share best farm safety practices and advice on how to avoid potential farm accidents.
The campaign will focus on different themes, which include livestock, elderly, children, falls from height and tractor safety.
The campaign is in support of National Farm Safety Week 2020, which is ran by the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Farm Safety Foundation - Yellow Wellies and which is this year focusing on the theme : It’s Time to Take Safety Seriously.
Over the years Agri Aware has been to the forefront of farm safety education in Ireland. Most recently Agri Aware partnered with the Irish Farmers Journal/Irish Country Living and ESB Networks to run a Safe Family Farms Competition, which encouraged members of the public to submit their innovative farm safety ideas and inventions.
Kilkenny boy, Jack Culleton (picture above) was crowned the winner of the competition for his farm safety idea ‘Know Your Zones’ which used different colours to highlight areas of risk around his family’s farm in Piltown.
Agri Aware is also an active member of the Health and Safety Authority’s Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee and developed a seven-minute farm safety drama video in 2016 called ‘Once Upon A Farm’.
The video is relevant now more than ever as there has been 14 farm fatalities so far this year, with three of the fatal incidents involving children and nine involving the elderly.
Agri Aware encourages farm families to watch the video and take note of how to avoid dangers on farm.
Agri Aware also developed a “Dig In - Learning about life in the Countryside” resource for primary school students and hosted a farm safety maize at the National Ploughing Championships in 2015.
Speaking about the Faces of Farm Safety campaign, Agri Aware Executive Director Marcus O’Halloran said: “We are delighted to once again run our important Faces of Farm Safety campaign to support National Farm Safety Week 2020.
“Now in its third year, this high impact campaign aims to raise national awareness of the dangers on farm. We’d like to thank all of our patrons and members of the farming and agribusiness community who will be featured in the campaign throughout the week."
“We would also like to draw the public’s attention to our numerous farm safety resources and especially our ‘Once Upon A Farm’ video which effectively highlights the potential dangers on farm for children and shows how the farm is not a playground and must be treated like a workplace.”
You can keep an eye on Agri Aware’s Faces of Farm Safety Campaign on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by following @agriaware or searching for #FacesofFarmSafety20.
To join in on the campaign and share your own farm safety message, tag @agriaware in your video on social media and use #FacesofFarmSafety20.
To view the Agri Aware Once Upon A Farm Video visit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmauuRNZLWI&feature=emb_logo
Agri Aware and well-known TV chef and best-selling food author, Edward Hayden have teamed up to launch a new online cookery series called From Field to Fork Recipes.
The series, which will be posted on Agri Aware’s social media platforms and website from Tuesday, June 9th to Friday, June 12th, will feature short cookery demos given by Edward Hayden of simple and healthy meals with the main ingredients for each meal hailing from 100% Irish, Bord Bia Quality Assured, family farms.
This exciting, new social media series comes at a time where families have increased food shopping and home cooking in recent months due to the country’s lockdown period.
Recipes included in the series are: Slow Cooked Pork in Cider and Mustard, Homemade Beef Burgers, Chicken and Chorizo Spaghetti and Chargrilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Herb Butter.
Edward Hayden, who runs his own cookery school and who is a TV regular on Virgin Media’s popular Ireland AM show said that he was delighted to take part in the new series with Agri Aware as he thinks it’s important for chefs to promote Irish produce to consumers.
“We have some of the world’s best food producers, in this country, producing food to a very high quality, exercising the greatest levels of professional and culinary integrity to ensure that the food being produced in people’s homes is to the highest possible standard,” said Edward.
“Obviously families are very busy at this time of year but if they take time to prepare these quick and tasty meals they will be fuelling their bodies.”
Speaking about this new series, Agri Aware chairman Alan Jagoe stated : “We are delighted to present this exciting, new series which showcases the very best of meat, dairy and vegetables hailing from 100% Irish and Bord Bia Quality Assured family farms. The aim of the series is to highlight to busy families that it is possible to make healthy and quick meals even when you have a busy lifestyle," said Mr Jagoe.
“These meals are hearty and filling for farmers who are working hard during the summer months and for Irish families with busy lifestyles. The series also recognises the renewed interest in cooking at home which has occurred as a result of the recent lockdown period in Ireland.
“We are delighted once again to team up with well-known chef Edward Hayden who has been a supporter of Agri Aware for years and is a real advocate for the use of produce from Irish family farms.”
The short videos will be uploaded on Agri Aware’s social media platforms from June 9th – June 12th and will also feature on Agri Aware’s website daily.
Visit @agriaware on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
To download Edward's Slow Cooked Pork in Cider and Mustard Dish click here and to view the recipe video click here
To download Edward's Homemade Burger recipe click here and to view the recipe video click here
To download Edward's Chargrilled Lamb and Garlic and Herb butter recipe click here and to view the recipe video click here
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 has launched a new social media campaign called #FeedingtheFrontline. Through the campaign it aims to highlight to the public the important work Irish farmers and food producers are doing to produce safe and sustainable food every day of the week, a task which is more important than ever in light of Covid- 19.
For the coming weeks, Agri Aware will showcase videos on its social media of Irish farmers and food producers from a range of sectors where the farmers themselves will explain to consumers the important work they are doing on their farm to meet consumer demand and ensure the supply chain is not disrupted.
They will also explain the health and safety measures they are taking on their farm to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking about the new campaign, Agri Aware Executive Director Marcus O’Halloran said: “It is important that consumers are aware now more than ever that farmers across the country are producing meat, dairy, cereals, fruit and vegetables every day on their farm that fill the shelves of Irish supermarket and independent stores every day of the week.
“In light of the growing threat of Covid-19 farmers’ role as the backbone of the food supply chain in producing a continuous supply of food for consumers both at home and abroad needs to be acknowledged and valued.”
Visit @agriaware on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to learn about the work Ireland’s #FeedingtheFrontline farmers are doing each day or check out our Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjoxWCl3tagfMwh9cPnRsyQ
If farmers and food producers would like to get involved in #FeedingtheFrontline, please email your interest to email@example.com.
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.”