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!
Winners of the 2019 Incredible Edibles project unveiled at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
On Friday, (October 11th, 2019) Agri Aware, Ireland’s agri-food educational body were joined by 3rd and 4th class pupils of St. Oliver Plunkett's National School, Killina, Co. Kildare at the National Botanic Gardens where they were crowned winners of the 2019 Incredible Edibles project. The lucky students got to dig in to a day of learning about all things gardening with a planting workshop, a tour of the native Irish plants, Viking house and the infamous Palm glasshouse!
The Incredible Edibles project undertaken by some 1300 schools in 2019 aims to educate and empower children with knowledge of the full farm to fork journey, with schools receiving a free kit containing all the must have tools to start their very own school garden. From compost to seed potatoes, the pack also includes a host of accompanying curriculum linked educational resources. The importance of empowering students through food education is paramount to ensuring health in later life.
Speaking about the project Alan Jagoe, Chairman of Agri Aware said “It is great to see the impact the Incredible Edibles programme has had on the school children here today. Whilst new figures relating to obesity are positive with 78% of children within a healthy weight range, awareness and exposure to fruit and vegetables is important for a healthy balanced diet as they grow. This year over 1300 schools participated nationally, which equates to around 47,000 students right across Ireland, learning where their food comes from and how to produce food for themselves. The aim of this programme is to encourage healthier diet habits and ultimately lead to healthier children and adults down the line”.
The initiative is supported by the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health and Children, through the Healthy Ireland framework, the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia and the horticulture industry.
Registration is now open for the 2020 Incredible Edibles’ project and you can visit www.incredibleedibles.ie to register today!
2019 Incredible Edibles Second Prize Winners Take to the Fields of Country Crest.
On Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, Agri Aware, Ireland’s agri-food educational body, recognised the third-class pupils from Gorey Central School in Co. Wexford, as the 2019 Incredible Edibles runner-up winners. Over 1,300 schools across Ireland participated in the 2019 Incredible Edibles programme. The second prize winners received a VIP visit to Country Crest, where they were taken on a guided tour around the farm. The students learned all about the company’s biodiversity and sustainability measures as well as visiting their wind turbine, and cattle feeding unit. Country Crest not only provided goodie bags of fruit and potatoes for all pupils, but they also presented a polytunnel to the school to help them to continue their gardening journey.
Michael Hoey; Country Crest Co-Founder and Managing Director welcomed the primary school students to their farm. “It’s brilliant to see how these young school children have embraced the Incredible Edibles project, their enthusiasm for learning how to grow fruit and vegetables, and their appreciation of healthy seasonal food and where it comes from.”
Alan Jagoe, Chairman of Agri Aware stated, “As a farmer and father to three young girls, I know the importance of teaching them where their food comes from as well as enabling them to make healthy choices for their present and future health. Incredible Edibles encourages children from a young age to sow, grow and eat their own seasonal Irish produce, which greatly influences their food choices and results in a greater understanding of healthy eating.”
Agri Aware will prepare to launch the 2020 Incredible Edibles project on Friday, October 4th, 2019. For more information and to register, please visit our Incredible Edibles website www.incredibleedibles.ie.
Agri Aware Ireland’s agri-food educational body have joined forces with BEACON Ireland’s national Bioeconomy Research Centre and IFFPG (Irish Farm Film Producers Group) for this year’s Ploughing Championships.
Many visitors will remember Agri Aware’s Red Shed from previous years – this year the shed will take visitors on an interactive journey to find out more about the exciting research going on in the Bioeconomy sphere across Ireland and the positive role it plays in Ireland’s agri-food industry with the development of new packaging, products and more.
There will be a packed “Shed-ule” of activities for visitors to enjoy. Highlights including daily debates on plastics, the role of the agri-food sector in the bioeconomy etc; live experiments, panel discussions, giveaways, interactive displays and more. Organisations included in our panel discussions include: Friends of the Earth, the EPA, IFA, Clean Coasts, BEACON, IFFPG, Department of Environment, An Táisce, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Repak and many more.
In a time where focus is on feeding a growing population and climate change mitigation there are some really interesting solutions for a circular economy on the way. Many see Ireland as having the potential to become a global leader in this area through a co-ordinated approach that harnesses Ireland’s natural resources and given the role agri-food business and farming has in society here we have a competitive advantage in this area.
You can visit us at Row 17, Stand 382
Agri Aware today (Monday 15th July) launched its #FacesofFarmSafety competition. The competition aims to get as many people as possible to share their farm safety advice and to celebrate their good practices in order to promote Farm Safety to millions of social media users across Ireland.
The aims of this competition are aligned with the themes of this year's National Farm Safety Week 2019 which kicked off today (Monday 15th July). The theme of this year’s campaign is “Save Lives. Think Safety, Farm Safely”. Agri Aware is asking members of the general public to celebrate when things go right and share their good practices with others.
Carroll Consultancy and Agri Aware join forces for inaugural primary school competition
Students in St. John’s National School in the Neale, Ballinrobe were last week (Tuesday 25th June) announced as the winners of the inaugural Agri Aware “Artistic Animals” art competition. The competition, a collaboration between Agri Aware – Ireland’s agri-food educational body and Carroll Consultancy – a leading Agricultural Consultancy based in Swinford County Mayo aimed to promote farming and the agri-food sector to children of all ages across the west of Ireland.
The competition was open to primary school children of all ages across the West of Ireland who were tasked with creating their own farm animal in the classroom using only recycled materials. The competition was a huge success with entries received from students of all ages from across the West. One lucky winner was chosen – St. John’s National School, Ballinrobe, who on Tuesday 25th June were visited by Agri Aware’s Mobile Farm where they got to meet an array of farm animals and got to learn more about farming and food from the Mobile Farmer Pat. The students were also was joined on the day by Deirdre O’Shea Executive Director, Agri Aware and Breian Carroll, Managing Director, Carroll Consultancy for the Awards ceremony.
Second place was given to Logboy National School, Co. Mayo who won an egg incubator for their classroom which will allow them to hatch their very own chickens this Autumn and third place went to Glinsk National School Co. Galway.
Agri Aware and Carroll Consultancy wish to extend their congratulations to all winners and to say well done to all classes who entered the competition.
Agri Aware announce details of ‘National Open Farm Day’ on May Bank Holiday Monday set to bring thousands of consumers on “pasture to plate” journey
25th April 2019: According to research* carried out on behalf of Agri Aware, the Irish agri-food educational body, 89% of urban dwellers believe food education should be mandatory in primary schools, furthermore 74% believe a visit to a farm is very important for children when growing up.
The research was carried out by Empathy Research among more than 1,000 respondents from across urban Ireland. Additional findings include:
The research was released by Agri Aware in advance of its National Open Farm Day which will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May 2019.
Commenting on the research Agri Aware Executive Director, Deirdre O’Shea who herself has a background in Human Nutrition said: “Events such as Open Farm are vital to engaging an increasingly urbanised society in the pasture to plate journey of their food. We are seeing worrying trends emerging in childhood obesity in Ireland and empowering our young people with the knowledge to make healthy food choices is vital. Consumers may be aware that agriculture plays a key role in the Irish economy, but unless you are directly involved in the industry its relevance can be lost when in reality agriculture impacts on all of us.”
This unique event aims to bring Agri Aware’s mission “to improve the understanding of agriculture and the agri-food industry” to life in an engaging and a holistic way – bringing consumers on the full “pasture to plate” journey of their food. Three farms across the country will simultaneously open their gates to the public and will allow consumers a rare chance to experience first-hand what happens on a working farm and allow them to learn more about where our food comes from.
Chairman of Agri Aware Alan Jagoe added: “We are delighted to host National Open Farm Day again this year. The event aims to bridge the gap between consumer and producer, it is an opportunity to see what happens at the coalface of the sector. Farming is the lifeblood of our land and our people and as a sector we need to continue to communicate the vital links between agriculture, food and our economy to the consumer. As our research shows it is evident that there is an appetite amongst urban consumers to learn more about their food and the sector and this event aims to do just that in an innovative and engaging way.”
National Open Farm Day
Agri Aware’s National Open Farm Day will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May 2019. The host farmers include The Nicholson Family from Crosshaven Co. Cork who run a beef and tillage enterprise; the Wards based in Fieldstown, Co. Dublin – only 17km from Dublin’s Spire! They have a sheep, beef and horticulture enterprise and The Hannon’s in Co. Kildare who are Avonmore milk suppliers.
Each farm will host several activity zones on the day including:
Meet the Farmer: from Moo-ternity wards to tours of the Milking Parlour there will be talks on each farrm with the farm families, giving visitors a chance to get a real life experience of what life is like on the farm, the animals and crops the farmers tend to each day and some history of the farm.
The Cookery Zone: Each location will have the “farm to fork” journey come to life with a host of cookery demo by celebrity chef’s cooking a veritable feast using local produce and ingredients straight from the farm. Celebrity chefs on the day include Edward Hayden (Kildare), Gary O’Hanlon (Dublin) and Adrian Martin (Cork). You will also get a chance to meet many of the local producers from Beekeepers to farmhouse cheese producers.
The Kids Zone: The kid zone will be a hive of activity with lots of fun interactive activities for younger visitors this will include milk races, butter discos (making their own butter), farm safety games, face-painting, farm trails and lots more!
Free of Charge
The event is free of charge for everyone. On the day, each of the farms will open their gates to the public from 11am – 4pm and each location will offer its own unique programme of activities. For full details of the activity planned on each farm, along with directions, visit www.agriaware.ie/openfarm
Agri Aware unveil #ManyhatsoneCAP campaign coming to sitting rooms and cinemas near you this Spring!
Agri Aware Ireland’s agri-food educational body last night unveiled their exciting new #ManyHatsOneCAP advertisement. This unique, innovative advertisement aims to showcase the role the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays in everyday life in Ireland.
Speaking at the launch Agri Aware Chairman Alan Jagoe said “There is often a misperception out there that CAP is a policy that is just for farmers, but it is so much more than that. Whether you’re drinking your morning latte in Limerick or a farmer working the land in Fermoy CAP affects you. As farmers, we must keep developing and improving our agricultural sector to ensure the sustainable production of quality, safe, traceable food that is affordable for consumers, and CAP is a central part of that. It is vital that the consumer understands this story to ensure the agri-food sector in Ireland continues to survive and thrive”
The advert follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland. It features four major characters which include Dr. Dayle Johnston, an Offaly native working in Teagasc Grange making waves in calf health research; Rural entrepreneur, culinary lecturer and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school; Dr. Marijke Beltman a vet based in UCD’s Veterinary hospital talking through her work on UCD Lyon’s Estate and farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd.
This advert will give millions of viewers across Ireland, many who have no experience of farming or the agri-food sector a glimpse into the role the industry plays in everyday life in Ireland. This campaign kicks off today (Monday 25th March) in cinemas, with an outdoor, tv and radio campaign to follow in the coming weeks.
You can watch the advert below:
Minister Creed launches Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk series for second levels students
The aim of Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk series is to demonstrate the practical elements of modern agriculture to second-level students preparing for their Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science exam.
This event series is timely as we see major updates to the Agricultural Science course at second level for the first time in over 40 years. This new syllabus will be rolled out at 5th year level from September 2019. Agri Aware engaged extensively with stakeholders including Agri Aware’s patrons over several years to ensure the new specification was reflective and relevant of today’s agri food industry.
Speaking at this year’s launch( Thursday 28th February) Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D said: “I am delighted to launch this year’s Agri Aware Farm Walk and Talk series. Society in general is becoming increasingly detached to the source of their food making the role of Agri Aware even more important today, and into the future. It is only through understanding the origin of food that people will value the role of farmers and the importance of this sector to Ireland. It is of particular importance that initiatives like this are run to communicate with a younger audience many of whom are looking to their future, and will indeed be sectoral leaders in years to come. I wish Agri Aware every success with the initiative.”
Agri Aware Chairman Alan Jagoe added, “Agriculture is hands-on and events like Agri Aware’s Farm Walk and Talk provide thousands of students with an insight into the practicalities of farming and the hard work that farmers do each day. We need the educated students of today to become future industry leaders, to build on our exports of over €13.6 billion and to continue to build on our reputation as world class food producers.This is why initiatives such as Farm Walk and Talk are of such paramount importance – allowing students to experience the various farming techniques that they read so much about and giving them an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a working farm, covering topics from soils and fertilisers to silage making and livestock. The event is particularly beneficial for students who don’t come from a farming background”.
Kicking off on Monday the 4th of March the series will be held over 10 days and venues include Teagasc colleges and research centres across the country and UCD’s Lyon’s Estate. The model is unique in that it allows students to experience first-hand the work of industry experts and leading academics in a practical environment. From beef genetics to live lambing the students will experience the reality of the subject that they are taught each day in the classroom.
Agri Aware Executive Director, Deirdre O’Shea added, “Agri Aware’s are delighted to be running the Farm Walk and Talk initiative for what will be its 11th year. Its longevity is testament to the role of the initiative in educating our future industry leaders, many of whom may have never visited a farm previously. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain an insight into the hands-on experience of a working farm while also getting the opportunity to engage with key industry stakeholders. Agri Aware wouldn’t be able to facilitate these events without the help of Teagasc, UCD, IASTA, Farmers Journal and our patrons from the agri-food industry.”
For more information on the initiative including venue details and dates please visit www.agriaware.ie