Entries have started rolling in for a writing competition that aims to educate people about the importance of farmers and what they produce.
Selected works will be published in a book, to be titled Food for Thought, and various book prizes will be given to the best entries.
Food for Thought is the latest project of the Speak Up Campaign, as it continues to educate people about the need to support food production.
The group’s chair, Shelley Scoullar, gave a presentation for Years 5 and 6 students at St Michael’s Primary School in Deniliquin.
It was ‘‘back to the classroom’’ for Mrs Scoullar, who has taught at a number of primary and secondary schools in different capacities for 15 years before concentrating her efforts in recent times on growing rice and raising a family.
‘‘I was able to combine my two passions — education and agriculture. Being in the classroom felt great,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.
She talked with the students about what they ate for breakfast and what was needed to make their Weetbix, Rice Bubbles or toast.
‘‘We discussed what is grown on various farms throughout the region. I was actually quite surprised when the students talked about the relationship between where their parents work and how many are connected to the land. For example, their parents included truck drivers, administration officers and those employed in agricultural retail services and supplies.
‘‘We all rely very much on each other, and we’re all connected,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.
When her presentation was finished the students immediately started working on their contributions for the book.
‘‘I’m looking forward to seeing the end result. I am extremely confident we will have some excellent work from students at St Michael’s, as well as other schools throughout the region,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.
‘‘We already have some entries, and the feedback received suggests others will be coming from throughout the Murray region of NSW, as well as the Goulburn Valley and northern Victoria.’’
Mrs Scoullar said educating the general public was a major component of Speak Up’s efforts, and this year’s book followed on from the Food Grows Where Water Flows booklet which was produced in 2017.
There are categories in the book for students of all ages, as well as an adult section, with excellent prizes thanks to the support of Deniliquin Newsagency and Bookstore.
Any schools that would like a copy of the presentation to encourage their students to submit entries can email [email protected] or phone 0414 960 785 if they would like Mrs Scoullar to attend their school.
The competition is open to everyone. Contact the above email address for an entry form, or they can be found on the website at www.speakup4water.comw
■For more information, phone Shelley Scoullar on 0414 960 782 or email [email protected]