Tatiara’s Keith Area School recently accepted a community grant of $9677 to facilitate the school’s premeditated ‘farm to plate’ project.
The school was chosen among 27 other selected community groups who have all shared a slice of the comprehensive funding of $250,000 in grants and $12,990 in IT equipment.
The grant initiative is run through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal Program, with funds donated by ANZ and IT equipment provided by Lenovo. The aim of the scheme is to help build vibrant and sustainable rural communities, ensuring regional Australia’s ongoing prosperity.
Keith Area School principal Tobias O’Connor told the Chronicle the farm to plate project would engage students from foundation to Year 12 and include food production and distribution practises such as growing, cooking and business management.
“Students will receive leadership opportunities and develop new skills, including horticulture, land management, food hygiene and budgeting,” he said.
“We are trying to develop kids understanding about where food comes from.
“We are wanting the kids to be actively involved in growing the produce and we would ideally like to engage members of the community who may have expertise in the area to help educate and share knowledge.”
Mr O’Connor said the program would be primarily lead by Keith Area School teacher Ceri Price, with the incentive of expanding kids knowledge in agriculture practises.
“We are pretty lucky that coming from a regional area our kids are already pretty aware where their food comes from,” he said.
“Many of the kids have already grown up on farms and are fairly knowledgeable but we are wanting to take their knowledge one step further and get them involved in production, cooking and distribution methods.”
Mr O’Connor said the grant money would be put toward making improvements to the school’s agricultural area.
“We already have a fairly extensive space but we want to take what is a tired looking garden plot and make improvements, add some rose beds and make the space really accessible to primary and secondary students who are learning about agriculture, animals and cropping,” Tobias said.
”It’s a very exciting way for our primary kids to be involved!”
Mr O’Connor said developments of the space would be done in conjunction with the active members of the Keith Area School’s Agriculture Committee.
“We’ve got an enthusiastic committee and we would be involved closely with them in deciding what further steps to take.”