Revitalising School Farms Initiative, Tasmanian Department of Education and Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre

Through the Revitalising School Farms initiative, the Tasmanian Department of Education and the Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre are working together to educate students on biosecurity.

The Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre is an established working farm and part of the Tasmanian Field Study Centres network. The visitor centre has approximately 5,000 visitors each year, who come to gain practical experience about food and fibre production. Primary and secondary school students are exposed to a range of topics and industries, including dairy, sheep, poultry, crop and soil management and water usage.

The Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre provides opportunities for students to increase their awareness of the importance of biosecurity. Students are actively engaged in learning their responsibilities in preventing the introduction and spread of pests, diseases and weeds on farms.

Students are taught about biosecurity through practical learning and demonstrations of on-farm biosecurity measures, such as displays of biosecurity signs, boot and hand washing facilities, record-keeping of visitors, and bins for disposal of food to prevent accidental consumption by animals. This practical approach to learning engages students and assists them in spreading biosecurity messages to their family and friends.

The Revitalising School Farms initiative has worked alongside the Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre to develop food and fibre curriculum resources that are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and include biosecurity topics. In collaboration with Biosecurity Tasmania, they have developed a series of online education modules for students and conducted a series of professional learning sessions for teachers throughout the state. This ongoing work allows more schools to access current and correct information on biosecurity and educate Tasmanian students on this important topic.

The Tasmanian Department of Education’s Revitalising School Farms initiative and the Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre were nominated by Mandy Bowling from the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association.