As part of Agri Month, AgriKids has partnered up with Agri Aware to get their younger audience creative over the course of the month of September.
If you're aged 4-12, you can enter the competition to be in with a chance to be published in this year's 'On The Farm' supplement with Irish Examiner.
All you have to do is draw a picture or write a short story or a poem about farm life, food, farm animals, or farm safety — the choice is yours.
Children can submit their pieces by September 15th by emailingalong with their name and age, which will be printed alongside their entry. Parents can also send in a photo of their child if they are happy for it to be printed.
Excited to see the submissions, founder of AgriKIds Alma Jordan said: "Each time there is always something that takes my breath away."
Once the judges have carefully looked over each piece they will then choose the winners and publish them for the world to see.
When the Irish Examiner asked Alma why this competition and education around the concept of farming are important, she said: "There are nearly 140k family farms in Ireland, it makes up 6% of our workplaces and we all know how important it is to our economy. But it’s more than that.
"It’s very much a way of life and a strong part of our heritage. School holidays are that bit longer because of farming, many people have childhood stories of going to a cousin’s farm on their holidays or to grandparents who are farmers.
"At its very core, farming produces our food, and regardless of your dietary choice, you will need a farmer."
Speaking on the supplement, Agri Aware executive director, Marcus O’Halloran, stated: "For 25 years Agri Aware has been at the forefront of providing agri educational resources to children, their families, and communities as well as curriculum-linked educational programmes to schools.
"There has never been a more pertinent time to educate the consumers of tomorrow on food origin and farming practices. We are delighted to collaborate on this initiative."
AgriKids has been working alongside the team in Agri Aware for nearly a year now.
Alma said: "Together we launched and ran the Farm Safe Schools pilot programme, but I also had the opportunity to see their other programmes in action.
They really inspired me with not just the quality and range of programmes but the detail and learning outcomes they deliver."
Agri Aware is a charitable trust telling the story of agriculture in Ireland. Their mission is to connect Irish food producers with the public through education and public awareness campaigns.
Agri Aware’s ethos and mission are to bridge the gap between producers and consumers by providing curriculum-linked, educational programmes within primary and secondary schools. They also provide the general public with information to create a national awareness of the value of modern agriculture and farming, the stewardship of the rural environment, animal welfare and the benefits of nutritious Irish food.
One Agri Aware programme that stood out in particular to Alma was Incredible Edibles; a healthy eating and horticultural growing project whereby students learn all about food origin, sowing, growing, and eating their own array of healthy Irish fruit and vegetables.
"Children get first-hand experience in food production and growth, as well as keeping well and healthy eating," said Alma.
Another Agri Aware programme that Alma holds in high regard is 'Dig In'. A resource that covers all things food, farming, and sustainability and is activated by weekly class webinars.
"This covered so many aspects of farming from biodiversity to bovines. They are all curriculum-linked so it’s not just a ‘nice to have’ they are a staple part of our school’s educational objectives.
"From speaking to teachers who include agricultural topics, they always refer to students who may not be as enthusiastic about the more traditional subjects and how they shine and engage when farming is mentioned. I saw this first hand during the Farm Safe Schools pilot and it was incredible to learn this additional impact the programme was having," said Alma.
Agri Aware is currently running a national public campaign called Sustaining Ireland. By visiting their campaign page, you can learn about Irish farms, the various people and families who are producing our food, and the environmentally friendly farming methods that they are using to ensure our shared future is protected for generations to come.
Alma believes in the power of numbers when it comes to getting her message across on the importance of farming.
"I have worked hard to bring the message of farm safety to more and more farm families and communities. Thank you to Flogas for being a big part of that in recent times, their support was never more needed as children were home from school and more likely to be present on farms," Alma concluded.
To find out more about the 'On the Farm' competition visit www.agrikids.ie/blog-posts/on-the-farm-supplement.