Educating the youth of today to support farming in the future
In 2020, the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority piloted the innovative Farms2Schools program in and around Melbourne. The program brought local farmers to primary and secondary school children so the children could learn about farming techniques and industries. The initial 6 month program was highly successful with 40 farmers involved in 240 online ‘incursions’ with almost 10,000 students from 49 schools in the Greater Melbourne region. The farmers were paid for their time and expertise. The program was free for schools and they were provided with a number of learning resources. The participating schools reported an 84% increase in student knowledge and 98% of the teachers said they would recommend the program. The initial program was funded by the Victorian Government’s “Working for Victoria” program during the Covid pandemic.
Having set up and successfully delivered the initial program, including the development of learning resources, the opportunity exists to re-boot it in future years. In addition to incursions, the program can be expanded to include school excursions to farms and other agricultural facilities to enhance the first-hand experience and learning for students.
Themes and Local Areas
|Other Themes:||Sustainable Agriculture|
|Primary Local Area:||All Local Areas|
|Other Local Areas:|
|Project location:||Various schools and farms around the region|
|Scale of the project:||Information|
|New or continuing work:||Building on previous project/work|
|Lead organisation:||Melbourne Water|
|Key partners:||Various farmers, agricultural organisations, primary and secondary schools|
|Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:||Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation|
|Opportunities for investors within this project start from:||$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)|
|Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:||$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)|
|Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:||1-2 years|
Contribution toward targets
|Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target:||Community Participation – Over 2 million people participate annually in natural resource management events and activities conducted by relevant agencies, Councils and community groups across the region|
Sustainable agriculture – This region’s farms and agricultural industries are recognised as leaders in agri-ecological sustainability and resilience.
|Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:||–|
|Relevant National Landcare Program priority:||–|