The Archibull Prize celebrates 10 years

Connecting students with agriculture through artwork

Life & Style
The Wee Waa High School's Archibull. Pictured with students Caitlyn Coutts Smith, Emily Wong, Emma Holmes, Bryony Allen and Ally Stanfield and their teacher, Verity Gett. Photo supplied.

The Wee Waa High School's Archibull. Pictured with students Caitlyn Coutts Smith, Emily Wong, Emma Holmes, Bryony Allen and Ally Stanfield and their teacher, Verity Gett. Photo supplied.

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Improving perceptions of farming in metro and regional schools.

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The Archibull Prize is celebrating it's 10th year working to engage schools and communities with the agriculture industry.

The six-month program is run in schools across Australia, both metro and regional, with each school given a fibre-glass cow to paint, a farming sector to study and a young farming 'champion' from the industry.

Founder of the Archibull Prize, Lynne Strong said she started the program to give farmers the opportunity to share their experiences in the industry with the wider community.

"Feeding, clothing and powering the world is a shared responsibility, it's a big gig and farmers want to work with the community to ensure that we supply, safe, affordable and nutritious food," Ms Strong said.

"I was excited about modern farming practices and I knew once the community had seen them, they would be just as excited as me."

She said throughout the ten years of the program they had done 10,000 interviews with people on their perception of farming.

"We ask questions like are farmers good environmental and animal welfare stewards? We need to show we're just as committed to looking after the planet as everybody else," Ms Strong said.

"What we can show year in year out is the program being in schools, doubles to triples the perception of farmers environment stewardship and commitment to animal welfare."

Ms Strong said she believed improving the perception of farmers was especially important at the moment.

"Perceptions might not be as high as we would like but if you get out there, work directly with schools over a six month period you can rectify that very quickly," Ms Strong said.

But the program is not only about improving metro communities' views on farmers, it also works hard to foster a sense of pride in rural students.

"Teachers say you can see the kids from farms sit up straighter in class and be proud of what their families do," Ms Strong said.

Ms Strong said this year many of the 18 schools taking part focused their artwork on mental health and climate action.

Voting is open until November 7 for the public to vote on their favourite cow artwork.

Awards are also presented for best animation, infographic and blog of the school's experience.

Click here to vote - https://art4agriculture.chat/2019/10/13/pick-the-winner-of-2019-archibull-prize/

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