Students learn about Growing Great Grains

Students learn about Growing Great Grains

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Orroroo Area School students Alice Reddaway, Holly White and Brock Thomas.

Orroroo Area School students Alice Reddaway, Holly White and Brock Thomas.

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An in-school program is teaching kids more about how quality SA grain is grown.

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AN in-school program to teach kids more about how quality SA grain is grown has been launched, with more than 200 students from 10 primary schools across the state participating.

The 'Growing Great Grains' program will see teachers and students explore the journey of wheat, chickpeas and oats from paddock to plate.

Primary Industries Minister David Basham said the program would highlight the sustainable nature of grain production in SA.

"It is important students understand how their food is produced and the role agriculture plays in our everyday lives," he said.

"Our grain industry is one of the state's largest economic contributors for primary industries and agribusiness revenue, contributing almost $4.2 billion.

"There are about five jobs for every one graduate of agriculture and agribusiness higher education courses, so we hope this program might even inspire the next scientist, farmer, or agribusiness innovator.

"Educating students about the importance of the food we grow in SA is an initiative that will pay dividends later on."

Growing Great Grains coordinator Belinda Cay said the program would teach students where their food comes from and the role science, technology, engineering and maths played in sustainable food production.

"The concept for Growing Great Grains came about following the outbreak of COVID-19," she said.

"The project team noticed a change in consumer behaviour and perceptions about food supply to believe there were shortages in SA.

"People were 'panic buying' at the height of the pandemic but the reality is that Australia is one of the most food secure nations in the world.

"The National Farmers' Federation estimates that, on average, each Australian farmer produces enough food for 600 people, 150 at home and 450 overseas."

Across the 10-week program students will explore food producing regions in SA, how plants adapt to drought and frost, plant growth and development, pest and disease management and how grain is used to make food.

Each participating school will be provided with a grains kit, which includes a range of seeds, growing resources and a grain identification kit.

Growing Great Grains, an initiative of Food and Fibre Education SA with support from PIRSA and Grain Producers SA, will run during term 3, with regional and metropolitan schools involved.

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