A government-funded scheme helping schools pay for excursions to local farms has been extended following requests by Hawkesbury farmers.
Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman wrote to the Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, on February 3rd asking for the deadline for the Kids to Farms scheme to be extended after meeting with Bilpin farmer, Aaron Brocken.
“I was delighted to receive a response from Mr Littleproud saying an extension to the program had been approved that allows activities to continue until June 30, 2023,” Ms Templeman said.
“This is a really welcome development, and I thank the Minister for listening to MPs like me, farmers like Aaron, and the NSW Farmers’ Association, which manages the program in this state.
“It means schools will be able to continue to apply for $1500 in funding so children can visit a local farm and learn more about where their food comes from.
“The program was due to end in June of this year, but there were many schools who would have missed out.
“I really encourage local schools to investigate taking advantage of this program and taking the classroom out on the road.
“It’s a fun day out for students and it can also mean a welcome mid-week boost for local businesses.”
Aaron from Harvest Farms in Bilpin said it was great for school children to find out about where their food comes from.
“We grow about 30 different varieties of fruit and vegetables here and sell through local outlets … for me, this is a chance to help children learn about sustainability and how food is produced, and even just what it looks like when it grows,” he said.
Schools can find more details on the Kids to Farms website at kidstofarms.com.au/about.
Harvest Trails and Markets, is getting behind the project with an interactive map for people to find its farm members open to schools and the general public.
The not-for-profit organisation aims to bring consumers and farmers closer together and runs several markets including the Farmers’ Markets at Castle Hill Showground.
For more information about Harvest Farms, visit https://harvestfarms.com.au/ and to have a look at farms open in the Hawkesbury visit Harvest Trails and Markets at https://www.