Release type: Joint Media Release


$2 million to help school students learn about agriculture


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education
Leader of the House
The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture

The Australian Government will invest an extra $2 million to ensure primary and secondary school students in the cities and the bush can learn more about Australia’s important agricultural sector.

Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP announced the Agriculture in Education initiative today at the Graham Centre of Agriculture Innovation in Wagga with the Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack.

“This programme is all about ensuring school kids get a better understanding of our primary producers from their first days of primary school and beyond by providing school teachers with new online education tools,” Mr Pyne said.

“This is an important part of giving school students the opportunity to learn about our agriculture industry and to consider a career in the sector.

“To achieve this we must ensure teachers have the right tools to teach country kids and city kids about this industry which supports hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs and makes a significant contribution to Australia’s economy.”

The Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce said that students need to better understand the importance of agriculture to Australia’s economy and our food security.

“Surveys suggest many children have never been on a farm or met a farmer and that many primary school children have limited awareness of agriculture,” Mr Joyce said.

“For example, some children think cotton socks are an animal product, and some think yoghurt grows on trees.

“Our children need balanced information about farming so they can appreciate where food and fibre comes from and the importance of sustainable and secure agriculture for a growing world population.

“This information could help make today’s city school students into the high-skilled workers of tomorrow’s cutting-edge Australian farms.”

The funding is supporting the development of resources such as online teacher support videos by the Primary Industries Education Foundation and Agrifood Skills Australia with quality assurance from Education Services Australia. Up to ninety resources will be developed in the first year of the project.

Mr Pyne said the Agriculture in Education initiative complements the Australian Government’s Students First approach.

“This is a practical programme which will help give students knowledge about where their food and fibre comes from and may also give them more career options which could include agriculture,” Mr Pyne said.

Under the Students First approach, the Australian Government will work with the states and territories by focussing on four key areas that will make a difference to students:
• teacher quality
• school autonomy
• parental engagement
• strengthening the curriculum

Funding for the Agriculture in Education initiative was provided in the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook statement in December 2013.

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