Another Book Week down and I’ll tell you, mate, the photos that were sent into me of kiddies dressed up around the country, certainly didn’t disappoint! What I’ve loved the most this year is seeing how much I’m inspiring kids from all over the country to want to learn about agriculture and to hopefully consider an innovative career in agriculture for their future. If you know a teacher, let them know that we have free curriculum-aligned educator’s resources to help teach food and fibre in the classroom.
This year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week theme was ‘Escape to Everywhere’, which was perfect for me as lots of kids love to escape to the farm!
Over the week I also visited a couple of schools across the Limestone Coast of South Australia where I performed my hit farming songs and read my latest story, ‘George the Farmer, Ruby and the Dairy Dilemma’. My top highlight from the week was in Mount Gambier where one inspirational mate gave me a fan letter. I’ll tell you what mate, I felt like a celebrity! Look out, Mick Dundee!
With the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that for 30 years prior to 2011, 300 farmers left the industry per month (equating to approximately 108,000 people no longer farming) together with the fact the United Nations have predicted that by 2050 food production world wide needs to increase by 60-70% to feed our growing population, we need as many children as possible to consider innovative careers in agriculture. Workforce capacity is the agricultural industry’s largest issue at the present time. For the past ten years, there have been consistently more job openings than qualified candidates. There are so many ripper careers that will be available in the future; in science, robotics, design, engineering or food waste for example, which will all help contribute to our future food security. Farmers for our future!