Recently Niall Blair, Minister for Primary Industries and Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education, have joined forces to ensure agricultural studies remains top of the class. A new program will be established to put agriculture and biosecurity on the learning agenda in response to a recent review into education and training in the area.
As the primary industries sector contributes roughly $12 billion to the NSW economy each year, Niall believes it is essential that students are educated in the whole food and fibre value chain, from the time produce spends on the farm, right through to the marketing process in stores.
Adrian says the new program will relay the message that “safe food starts in the paddock and ends on your plate.” Biosecurity will also be part of the curriculum with competitions being a tactic to encourage students to investigate species and form their own biosecurity plans. Three former teachers have been appointed under this program to develop high-quality teaching material and professional development opportunities for NSW teachers.
It is hoped that learning about these processes will have a positive impact on young people, encouraging them to consider a future in agriculture, whether it be as a vet, farm manager, entomologist, plant pathologist or genetics researcher.
Education resources and learning tools for the primary industries sector are available here.