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Federated Farmers gets in behind Books in Homes

Media Release
19 November 2009

Federated Farmers gets in behind Books in Homes

Educating young New Zealanders from low decile schools about farming is why Federated Farmers backs the efforts of Christine Fernyhough - philanthropist, farmer, inventor and author of Ben and Mark, Boys of the High Country.

“Duffy Books in Homes provides a means for farmers to engage with low decile schools to educate and broaden horizons about farming. It’s all about switching on minds,” says Christine Fernyhough, author and member of Federated Farmers High Country.

“Getting Federated Farmers into these schools is as important for farmers as it is for the pupils.

“Having a real farmer talking about farming is really inspirational - you can literally see the lights go on in the minds of children. For a farmer, that’s massive reward - to see children are inspired by what they do.

“Many kids in the city don’t get out to farms any more so we have to close up the gap. Not everyone knows a farmer.

“My book, Ben and Mark, Boys of the High Country, is about two brothers who live on Mount White Station in Canterbury. They don’t have many of the things city kids take for granted, but make up for it many times over on their 132,000 acre backyard. They have horses, sheep and the shear freedom to grow.

“It’s about making farming relevant and in doing so, we can turn misunderstandings into understanding,” Christine added.

Federated Farmers President, Don Nicolson, gave his full backing to the book and Books in Homes. Provincially, Federated Farmers are being organised to go into non-traditional schools, as happened in Porirua recently with the Prime Minister.

“It’s important to put a human face on farming because our industry welcomes everyone. Ben and Mark is a superb book that is engaging on so many levels,” says Don Nicolson, President of Federated Farmers.

“As a member, we endorse Christine’s fantastic efforts to open up farming to all young people. What she does so well is help relate farming to townies and she does it with zest and a smile.

“At Cannons Creek School, the kids were so respectful. It was a deeply positive experience and actually, inspirational.

“Next year’s Federated Farmers Farm Day on 28 March will provide the means to invite those kids onto our farms.

“Right now our provincial teams are making contact to inspire children about an agricultural future,” Mr Nicolson concluded.


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