“Yoghurt grows on trees”, say kids: Australian farmers call for action

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th March 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) of Australia has today called for greater investment in agricultural education after a study by the Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEF), the peak body for primary industries education in Australian schools, found that student and teacher knowledge ofAustralia’s food and fibre sector is “alarmingly low”.

NFF President, Jock Laurie, said the study, which found that 75 per cent of students believe cotton is an animal product and 65 per cent do not associate farming with innovation, is a call to action for the agricultural sector, parents and teachers.

“This should be of real concern to parents, teachers and society as a whole: if children do not understand food or where it comes from, how can we expect them to be able to make healthy, nutritious and sustainable food choices?” Mr Laurie said.

“Food and clothing are among the most basic of all human needs, and it seems incredulous that children are not taught more about where these vital products come from, or what goes into growing them.” 

PIEF has called for food and fibre production to be directly included in the sustainability component of the national curriculum.