'Dig In': NI farmers urge schools to use agricultural teaching resource

The resource was rolled out initially to 250 primary schools across Northern Ireland
The resource was rolled out initially to 250 primary schools across Northern Ireland

Farmers are urging schools in Northern Ireland to use a major teaching resource which has already been rolled out to 250 primary schools.

The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) 'Dig In' education programme is tailored to fit in with the national curriculum, and provides an educational way to learn about what happens on farms.

It covers a number of areas including science, geography, mutual understanding and personal development.

The union is now urging teachers to encourage their pupils’ curiosity about food and farming by using the programme.

The resource was rolled out initially to 250 primary schools across Northern Ireland during May 2018, but the UFU is now wanting build on that.

The UFU's Lorraine McKnight said: “Our experience is that this is something children enjoy whether they attend an urban or rural based school.



“It is important that people understand the countryside and farming, and that is less so today than when many families had links to relatives still involved in agriculture.

“With this knowledge children are well placed to make objective decisions about diet and health, in an era when they get mixed messages about food due to the growth of the internet and social media,” said Ms McKnight.

The union is also encouraging teachers to take advantage of the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend in June.

This will see 24 farms opening their gates to visitors from June 14th to 16th, with special provision at many for school groups.

It follows the NFU launching a new educational initiative called Farming STEMterprise which takes children through each stage of a farm business start-up.