The Ulster Farmers Union, in partnership with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend and Asda, has launched its 2017 schools competition.
The competition is open to all nursery, primary and special schools across Northern Ireland. This year pupils have been asked to put their creative skills to the test around the theme, ‘Eating Healthy Local Food’. Asda is to sponsor the competition with a range of prizes up for grabs for the lucky winners. Joe McDonald, Asda NI Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs said: “This is a great initiative which Asda NI is proud to support. Our team of Community Champions spend a lot of time working with schools to raise awareness of the important links between farming, local produce and the food we sell in our stores. Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend offers a fantastic opportunity to bring these messages to life and we hope more schools than ever get involved.”
UFU president, Barclay Bell said: “This is an exciting opportunity for schools across Northern Ireland to further focus on not only healthy food but the seasonality of local produce. The competition is about engaging with school children – to get them thinking about farming and the hard work that goes into producing our first class food.”
Now in its sixth year Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend has gone from strength to strength. The free event provides schools with the opportunity to educate children about the ‘Farm to Fork’ journey. “This competition will give pupils a greater knowledge of the seasonality of our produce and how it is produced. It will also underline the importance of supporting local producers to benefit the rural community and wider economy in Northern Ireland. I would certainly encourage schools to consider a trip to a farm,” said Bell.
He said that each year the UFU has been impressed with the number and quality of entries for the Schools Competition. “We would again encourage schools and teachers to participate, in what is a very worthwhile competition,” said Mr Bell. Entry forms have been sent to all nursery, primary and special schools. The closing date for entries is Friday 12 May 2017.