Last Moo Baa Munch event

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Ag Education - CASSANDRA GLOVER Cassandra.glover@ru­ral­

THERE were plenty of hands in the air at the an­nual Moo Baa Munch event as pri­mary school stu­dents from across the Dar­ling Downs en­gaged in dif­fer­ent agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties.

Moo Baa Munch is a two-day event held at Down­lands Col­lege in Toowoomba. Day one aims to con­nect pri­mary school stu­dents with agri­cul­ture and teach them where their food and fi­bre comes from. Day two aims to show sec­ondary stu­dents the ver­sa­til­ity of the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try and the types of ca­reers avail­able.

Sadly this could be the last Moo Baa Munch event as its par­ent pro­gram, the School to In­dus­try Part­ner­ship Pro­gram, had it’s fund­ing cut by the State Govern­ment at the end of this year.

“In­dus­try comes along and they tell the stu­dents about their par­tic­u­lar in­dus­try and have hands on ac­tiv­i­ties to get kids en­gaged with learn­ing about where their food and fi­bre comes from, be­cause 83 per cent of kids don’t know,” SIPP lia­son of­fi­cer and Moo Baa Munch or­gan­iser, Tanya Na­gle said.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for kids to be­come en­gaged and learn how im­por­tant agri­cul­ture is for their ev­ery­day lives.

“It’s also im­por­tant that stu­dents know there are jobs on farms, but there are also jobs get­ting that prod­uct from the farm to your plate.

“There are 300,000 jobs on farms in Aus­tralia but there are 1.6 mil­lion in the agribusi­ness sup­ply chain. So all those jobs it takes to get pro­duce from the farmer to your plate- there’s op­por­tu­ni­ties there.”

Ms Na­gle said Moo Baa Munch has been run­ning for five years, but SIPP hosts many other events as well.

“If any school or group of schools want us to come to their area and hold an event we will. Not just events like this,” she said.

“Last week I did a three day in­dus­try tour through the Lock­yer Val­ley. We had four dif­fer­ent schools in­volved and we went to three dif­fer­ent busi­nesses for the three days. They got to have face to face meet­ings with po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers.

“Also next week I’m go­ing to a school and spend­ing the whole day do­ing a pad­dock to plate grain talks.”

If SIPP loses its fund­ing, all th­ese pro­grams will end, Ms Na­gle said.

“All of th­ese pro­grams we run through­out the state en­gag­ing kids with agri­cul­ture and the in­dus­try will just cease to hap­pen,” she said.

“There is no other pro­gram like this is Queens­land or Aus­tralia so un­for­tu­nately it won’t hap­pen any longer.

“It's so im­por­tant for the fu­ture of our in­dus­try. The in­dus­try is just grow­ing and grow­ing. As our pop­u­la­tion grows we need more food, we need more clothes, and we have such a good rep­u­ta­tion over­seas for hav­ing clean, green, in­no­va­tive agri­cul­ture, peo­ple are look­ing to im­port our prod­ucts.

“So it’s re­ally im­por­tant this pro­gram keeps go­ing. It’s not much money and we get such great out­comes.”

Ms Na­gle said at a time when the drought has had so much fo­cus, it’s vi­tal to show kids agri­cul­ture has a fu­ture.

“Be­cause of the drought it’s brought farm­ing to the fore­front, but its re­ally im­por­tant to show peo­ple that farm­ers are there all year round ev­ery year all year round, not just when they’re in drought, so we need to sup­port them all the time,” she said.

“But we also need to show them that, some­times when we see all th­ese drought pic­tures we think ‘I don’t want to work in that in­dus­try be­cause look at the poor farm­ers, they’re strug­gling.’

“But we need to show them that there is a fu­ture to this in­dus­try.”


CON­NECT­ING KIDS: SIPP lia­son of­fi­cer Tanya Na­gle or­gan­ised the Moo Baa Munch at Down­lands.

Har­lax­ton State School stu­dent Paige Stacey-Shorter brand­ing a cow hide with the help of QATC in­struc­tor Jim Shini.

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