Hundreds of Scottish schoolchildren will start the autumn term with a new subject on the curriculum – farming – thanks to nearly £30,000 worth of funding from the NFUS Centenary Trust.

Members of the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS), which celebrates its centenary this year, have dug deep to donate and raise the sum via individual contributions, barn dances, livestock-judging competitions and the sale of bottles of whisky from a commemorative cask.

This is the Trust’s second wave of grants, making a total of £60,000 funding supplied this year. Projects supported by the latest round include a buying a working model of a dairy cow for the Borders, providing wellies and warm outdoor clothing for a primary school in Falkirk and creating banners to advertise school farm visits in the Forth Valley.

NFU Scotland’s Centenary Trust Treasurer, George Lawrie announced the grants saying:

“Many of Scotland's children live in the city and, even if they live in the countryside, may not have visited a farm before. Wherever we live, however, we all have to eat and drink, and can hopefully eat food that was produced on a Scottish farm. From milk and eggs to fruit, vegetables, meat and cereals, Scotland produces a wide variety of foods - even if parents sometimes struggle to get their children to eat them!

“Even if they do not always want to eat their greens, children are naturally curious about farms: just think how popular toy tractors are and how many children's books feature farmyard scenes. The opportunity to build on this interest is tremendous.

“Collectively as an industry we must make sure we do all we can to encourage the next generation of farmers and food producers. As NFU Scotland celebrates our 100th birthday, I hope that we can inspire some youngsters, wherever they come from, that farming is a career path that is open to them all, even if they are growing up in the heart of the city. Whatever they do when they leave school, I believe it’s important that all schoolchildren are given the opportunity to learn about the food, drink and other products Scottish farms produce and how farming contributes to the beautiful landscape and wildlife for which our country is famous.”


 About the NFUS Centenary Trust

To mark its first 100 years, NFU Scotland has established a Centenary Trust.  The Trust is being funded by centenary events taking place throughout 2013 and via a voluntary contribution from the Union’s members.

In its first year, the Trust is supporting three objectives:

1. To encourage as many children as possible to learn more about where their food and drink comes from and to visit a farm in 2013. 
2. To educate farmers, their employees and their children on health and safety in the countryside, with a special emphasis on children’s safety.  
3. To assist in bringing forward a meaningful apprentice programme that supports farmers and their employees.

The Trust would welcome applications from schools and other applications for the next round of grants, for which the deadline is 20 September 2013. For more information, please visit or call Colin Gordon on 0131 472 4011.

 Recipients of the latest round of grants are as follows:

Slammanan Primary School, Falkirk
The school will buy wellies, waterproof jackets and trousers, gloves and warm socks so that their pupils can visit farms whatever the Scottish climate throws at them!

Queensberry Initiative, Dumfries & Galloway
This community charity in Nithsdale will help children and young people develop their skills with a view to a rural career.  Whether they’re learning about watercourses, photosynthesis, forestry, dairy, beef and pig farming, the initiative’s outdoor classroom approach merges well with the school curriculum.

Peeblesshire Agricultural Society
The Peeblesshire Agricultural Society promotes interest in agriculture via a winter discussion society and the annual Peebles Agricultural Show. The Show hosts an education tent and the Society will use the grant to build up its collection of educational material and other equipment such as tables and chairs for the tent.

Gergask Primary School, Inverness-shire
In their adjoining field the school will establish a kitchen garden, rabbit-proof fencing to protect the kitchen garden, wildlife ponds with fencing for safety and an orchard. 

RHET Clyde
RHET Clyde will hold a food and farming day for 200 children aged 9-12 from Glasgow City, North and South Lamarkshire looking at Scottish farming and safety in the countryside.

RHET Borders
Via two separate grants, RHET Borders will buy a working model of a dairy cow so that they can demonstrate milk production in the classroom, at local shows and beyond. They will also extend their highly successful primary school food and farming day to 200 high school pupils at Springwood Park in Kelso with machinery, butchery and cookery demonstrations and farming workshops. 

RHET Dumfries & Galloway
The grant will be put towards providing portable handwashing facilities for group farm visits.

RHET Forth Valley
RHET Forth Valley will buy twenty large banners to advertise the great work they’re doing in arranging for schools to visit farms and for farmers to go into the classroom to talk to pupils about what they do for a living.

About RHET
The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) is an educational charity that provides world-leading learning opportunities about farming, food production, the outdoors and the countryside to Scottish children aged between 3-18. It was established in 1999 and is the leading provider of risk-assessed farm visits throughout Scotland. RHET is well on its way to achieving its target of having contact with one in four Scottish children by 2020.



Date Published:

News Article No.: 99/13

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