Paddock to Plate: feeding young & hungry minds

Paddock to Plate: feeding young & hungry minds

A new From Paddock to Plate online resource library that is designed to build a bridge between the rural and urban divide through education is now available to primary and high school teachers and students nationally.

The library contains more than 350 unique, thought-provoking and engaging virtual video excursions which can be shown in classrooms to build understanding by helping students learn where food and fibre comes from.

Importantly it is also aligned with the Australian curriculum and is packed with resources to help teachers educate the next generation of Australians.

How it all started

The From Paddock to Plate (FP2P) program was launched in 2008 but has now received national backing from agricultural banking specialist, Rabobank through a partnership with RaboClientCouncils, which is a group of the bank’s farming clients who meet to discuss issues and initiatives for rural community sustainability.

The program’s founder, Louise FitzRoy, attributed her initial motivation to developing the program to growing up on a sheep and cattle property in northern NSW and seeing her father’s frustration with “people taking the abundance of food on the supermarket shelves for granted”.

Louise FitzRoy: education is the best way to bridge the rural and urban divide

“Years later I found myself travelling around Australia as an ABC Rural reporter and realised that my Dad wasn’t the only one – this was a common feeling amongst many food and fibre producers.

“My first reaction was to educate – if we can educate our future leaders on where the food that they eat comes from, and how important it is to support this supply chain, then we can build a more sustainable future, a stronger economy and a healthier population.”

From Paddock to Plate program founder Louise FitzRoy

Grassroots learning from the classroom

Ms FitzRoy said in addition to helping students learn where their food comes from, it also promotes healthy eating and the making of more sustainable food packaging decisions, particularly with lunchboxes.

No packaging required: the program is also designed to help children make healthy food choices and think about packaging

The program is facilitated by the Australian-curriculum aligned multi-subject virtual video excursions, lesson plans, practical projects, podcast packs, master classes, fillable online worksheets, farmer profiles and recipes – for high school and primary students.

“We have farmers filming short ‘piece to cameras’ for us while they’re mustering cattle, in the sheep yards, or on the tractor sowing grain.  Teachers continually remark on the high quality of our film productions and the robust and passionate discussions between students that follow watching a FP2P video.

From Paddock to Plate program founder Louise FitzRoy

Bridging the rural and urban divide

RaboClientCouncil chair for South Australia and north western Victoria, Claire Catford said the Client Council was thrilled to be supporting the FP2P initiative, and believed much of the program’s success was thanks to the collaborative strength between Rabobank and FP2P.

“Bringing together Rabobank’s strong community presence and engagement and built on the foundation of FP2P’s reputable, well-structured program, this initiative has provided the opportunity to successfully promote the agricultural industry and make a positive impact,” she said.

RaboClientCouncil chair for South Australia and north western Victoria Claire Catford

Mrs Catford said the initiative not only supports education but also promotes the many and varied agricultural career opportunities by using relevant and engaging content that is designed to inspire the next generation of young Australians.

Teacher feedback

Ms FitzRoy said the program significantly reduces lesson preparation time and the cost of updating textbooks with many teachers reporting that their students had bee extremely engaged in the FP2P content.

“Teachers often provide feedback on new industries and topics that they would like included in the resources library. We’re always open to their suggestions, and have four more videos ready to film as soon as we are able to travel again.”

From Paddock to Plate program founder Louise FitzRoy

Currently schools can register for a 30-day trial subscription of the program, and thanks to the RaboClientCouncil, at the end of the trial, schools may be eligible to receive a $200 concession towards its $450 (+ GST) 12-month subscription fee.

To learn more about the From Paddock to Plate program, please click here.

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