Funding helps children connect with food production

More than 100 Primary 5 and 6 pupils from the Brechin area met local farmers, growers and rural businesses recently to learn about how their food is produced.

Mark Dowie
Sunday, 25th June 2023, 7:00am
Funding helps children connect with food production

The initiative was part of a new farming and rural learning experience, being delivered to a a minimum of 80,000 pupils across Scotland, established by the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET)

The programme has been backed with £200k of funding from the Scottish Government, which RHET says will secure the future of rural education events for children and young people, covering core costs such as infrastructure, bus transport, co-ordination and safety requirements.

The children were joined by Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, who saw for herself how the funding is deployed. Through a variety of sessions, pupils learned about dairy and making butter; saw seeds, sheaves and growing crops; watched wheat seed being ground into flour and oil seed rape pressed into oil.

Ms Gougeon said: “Since 2017 the Scottish Government has given over £700k to the RHET in order to support their programme of school farm visits and associated educational resources for schools. This has allowed them to educate and inspire thousands of children and young people on how Scottish food is produced.

"This fresh support will allow RHET to reach even more children, many of whom are from deprived areas. The programme provides an opportunity for young people to visit a farm and offers a hands-on educational experience which highlights the importance of farming and food production to our society."

RHET Angus chairman Bruce Christie said: “Every one of Ms Gougeon’s constituents need a farmer three times a day. The support from the award from the Scottish Government means we can keep events like this in the school calendar

“Listening to their questions and seeing the penny drop as they see seeds ground into flour is part of the reason I love volunteering with RHET. Helping them to see Scottish agriculture gives them a chance to ask questions and provides unbiased information so they can make their own food choices as they grow up."

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