Farmers fund school projects

Hundreds of Scottish children will start the autumn term with a new subject on the curriculum – farming – thanks to nearly £30,000 of funding from the NFUS Centenary Trust.

Members of the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS), which celebrates its centenary this year, have dug deep to donate the sum via individual contributions, barn dances, livestock-judging competitions and the sale of bottles of whisky from a commemorative cask.

This is the Trust’s second wave of grants, making a total of £60,000 funding supplied this year. Projects supported by the latest round include a buying a working model of a dairy cow for the Borders, providing wellies and warm outdoor clothing for a primary school in Falkirk and creating banners to advertise school farm visits in the Forth Valley.

NFU Scotland’s Centenary Trust treasurer George Lawrie said: “Many of Scotland’s children live in the city and, even if they live in the countryside, may not have visited a farm before. Wherever we live, however, we all have to eat and drink, and can hopefully eat food that was produced on a Scottish farm.

“From milk and eggs to fruit, vegetables, meat and cereals, Scotland produces a wide variety of foods – even if parents sometimes struggle to get their children to eat them!

“Even if they do not always want to eat their greens, children are naturally curious about farms: just think how popular toy tractors are and how many children’s books feature farmyard scenes. The opportunity to build on this interest is tremendous.

“Collectively as an industry, we must make sure we do all we can to encourage the next generation of farmers and food producers. As NFU Scotland celebrates our 100th birthday, I hope we can inspire some youngsters, wherever they come from, that farming is a career path open to them all, even if they are growing up in the heart of the city.

“Whatever they do when they leave school, I believe it’s important that all children are given the opportunity to learn about the food, drink and other products Scottish farms produce and how farming contributes to the beautiful landscape and wildlife for which our country is famous.”