Today, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Luke Hartsuyker MP - launched a nationwide education program designed by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) to assist students in understanding and investigating red meat processing in Australia.
Launched on the opening day of The Sydney Royal Easter Show on the Cattle Judging Lawns - the program will provide education resources to primary and high school students in urban, regional and rural schools. The program will help school communities understand more about the role and importance of the red meat processing industry in the Australian economy, environment and wider community.
"This program is much more than a paddock to plate learning exercise. It is about teaching kids how vital the meat processing sector is to so many Australians - from the producers, to the large workforce who process the meat and eventually to the kids themselves eating the produce. Students will be learning how processors look after the environment through their sustainability practices, provide thousands of jobs for local communities and most importantly deliver the tastiest and highest quality meat products to Australian dinner tables," said AMPC Chairman, Peter Noble.
Last year, 57 teachers and 519 students across 51 different schools trialled and reviewed the educational resources. The resources are designed at different levels that cater for Year 5 to Year 10 students. They are interactive, digital and animated in nature - featuring podcasts, videos and written content.
"Feedback from the trial has been very positive. Students were incredibly engaged with the content and all the teachers were incredibly engaged with the content and all the teachers who trailled the resources have indicated they will be using it again the classroom," said Mr Noble.
"This initiative is about encouraging students to take an interest in agriculture and educating them on the career opportunities available through the red meat processing industry and broader supply chain," he said.
Students from Narrabeen Lakes Primary School, who were part of the trial group, were on hand to launch the program at the Cattle Judging Lawns at Sydney Olympic Park.
The initiative is funded by AMPC with the assistance of matching funds provided by the Australian Government.
"This is a substantial investment that helps to highlight the increasing importance and value of the red meat processing industry throughout numerous communities across Australia.
This resource - Meat Matters - We all have a steak in this! - will teach the next generation of Australians how vital the work of red meat producers and processors is. The program will demonstrate how our agricultural roots underpin thousands of jobs, economic growth in regional and rural communities, competitive export opportunities and of course how the best of Australian produce makes its way onto plates around the country and the world," said Minister Hartsuyker.
From today, all the educational resources are available on the AMPC website for teachers to download and use in classrooms around the country: www.ampc.com.au/resources/school-resources
The red meat processing sector is Australia's second largest manufacturing industry by revenue, and directly employs 34,0001 people, making it the second largest employer in rural and regional areas of Australia.