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From Down Under: $5m plan to send kids to learn about farms in bit to stop growth in vegan activism

The Courier Mail- School kids will be sent to farms to learn where food comes from in a bid to counter growing vegan activism under a $90 million Coalition plan that also boosts support for drought-hit farmers.

Scott Morrison will today unveil a social, educational and economic for Australia’s agriculture sector.

More grants will be directed to drought-ravaged council areas and the financial burden on farmers will be relieved through extended support.

Cash will be given to agricultural shows to upgrade their infrastructure so farmers can showcase their produce, but one of the most politically significant investments is $5 million to take city kids to farms.

“We know from a study completed by the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia in 2011 that too many of our young Australians don’t understand where their food comes from,” Mr Morrison said.

“We won’t allow our kids to be vulnerable to anti-farming campaigns from extremists hell-bent on shutting down agriculture.

“This new program will support primary and secondary school students to visit farms and other primary production worksites in the food and fibre supply chain.

“We will also back around 80 city schools across the country to set up fully integrated and computerised ‘mini-farms’ to teach students about the use of water, land and energy in food production.”

Overall, the plan includes:

● $36.4 million to make the temporary increase to farm assets test permanent;

● $7 million for the drought communities small business support program;

● $14 million for 14 extra local councils under the drought communities program;

● $20 million for the regional agricultural show development grant program;

● $10 million for the bringing kids and farm together program ($5 million for up to 80 iFarm trailers for city based schools and $5 million for school visits to farms);

● $720,000 to support Agricultural Shows Australia to promote the value of Australian agriculture; and

● $220,000 to encourage more young people to study agriculture by improving future education initiatives.

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