Last Moo Baa Munch event
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.