We’re SO excited to announce the Rabobank Community Fund has once again partnered with ‘George the Farmer’ to provide book packs to schools in the lead up to this year’s National Book Week - August 17-23. Enter Here!

The specialist agribusiness bank – in collaboration with George the Farmer – will award 70 educational institutions – across Australia with a collection of all 13 Australian-made George the Farmer picture storybooks for their libraries.

Rabobank head of community and client engagement Glenn Wealands said George the Farmer’s “authentic approach and grassroots appeal” resonate remarkably with young readers in rural areas, while also inspiring urban children to develop a deeper understanding and connection to farming.

Mr Wealands said George the Farmer’s aspiration for a world in which children connect with the earth, food and farming aligns seamlessly with the Rabo Community Fund’s central theme of fostering urban-rural connections.

"This is now the third year Rabobank has partnered with George the Farmer to celebrate National Book Week. Each year we have been overwhelmed with applications from educational institutions – including primary schools, kindergartens, pre-schools, early learning centres or childcare centres – from across the country,” he said. “And to meet this demand, we’re excited to be able to boost the number of complete collections of George the Farmer book bundles available up to 70 bundles, from 50 bundles last year. It has been thrilling to see that level of interest from children, teachers and librarians in learning about agriculture.”

Mr Wealands said the George the Farmer book sets would contribute to enhancing awareness of food and fibre production in schools, potentially igniting interest among children to pursue careers in agriculture.

He said the Book Week initiative was part of an ongoing partnership between the Rabo Community Fund and George the Farmer.

George the Farmer began as an interactive story app in 2015 and founder Simone Kain has since expanded the brand to include virtual reality experiences, music, performances and paddock-to-plate videos available on YouTube and ABC iView, alongside free, curriculum-aligned educational resources.

“These free resources, focusing on STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), engage children in agricultural education in a dynamic and interactive manner," Ms Kain said.

To date, Ms Kain said, over 600,000 children aged four to 10 across Australia have benefited from these free educational resources, covering diverse topics such as apples, chickpeas, wheat, wool, farm safety and dairy. “In a 2024 survey, 100 per cent of George the Farmer users reported that the platform helped children develop a love for reading and learning, while 98 per cent noted an increase in their knowledge about food and fibre,” she said.

Ms Kain said the George the Farmer team, based in regional South Australia, is helping to educate and inspire the next generation – the future leaders, big thinkers, innovators, makers, fixers, creatives, teachers, policy makers and farmers.

“We receive many photos every year of excited kids dressing up as George and Ruby Farmer at their school Book Week parades. The Rabobank partnership champions agricultural literacy and will not only enable the education of many more kids but inspire them to consider careers in agriculture,” she said.

Applications can be made at the following link - WIN a George the Farmer book set

Terms and conditions are available via the application link.

Applications for the book sets open Monday, July 1 2024, and close on Sunday, July 21 2024.

The world’s leading specialist food and agribusiness bank, Rabobank is one of Australia’s largest agricultural lenders and a major provider of business and corporate banking services to the country’s food and agribusiness sector.

In 2021, the bank launched the Rabo Community Fund in Australia and New Zealand to invest in the sustainability and vitality of rural communities.

“As a cooperative, Rabobank has a rich history of community engagement and always looks to make an impact across the rural communities in which our clients live and work,” Mr Wealands said.

“The Rabo Community Fund is driven by the bank’s farming clients, who play a central role in their communities. They support local initiatives with the goal of making a meaningful impact on the vibrancy and resilience of rural Australia.

For more information on our Rabo Community Fund and initiatives visit: https://www.rabobank.com.au/about-rabobank/rabo-community-fund/