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More Than £100k Given Out to Promote Farming in 2013

19 December 2013

UK - Projects across the country benefitted from more than £124,000 from NFU Scotland’s Centenary Trust during 2013.

From a land-based internship to a classroom on wheels, wellie boots and waterproof gear the funds helped to meet all the objectives set by the Trust for 2013.

To mark its first 100 years, NFU Scotland established the Trust which has been funded by centenary events taking place throughout 2013 and via a voluntary contribution from the Union’s members.

In its first year, the Trust supported three objectives:

  1. To encourage as many children as possible to learn more about where their food and drink comes from and to visit a farm in 2013.
  2. To educate farmers, their employees and their children on health and safety in the countryside, with a special emphasis on children’s safety.
  3. To assist in bringing forward a meaningful apprentice programme that supports farmers and their employees.

Applications were received from various organisations across the length and breadth of the country with the biggest grant of the year, £17,500, going to the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative (RNCI) to buy a new Countryside Classroom on Wheels or CCOW.

Another of the larger grants of £15,516 went to a land-based internship programme run by Ringlink Scotland Ltd.

A number of groups have also used the grants to buy milk-able fibreglass cows which can be transported easily to schools.

Every little helps and some of the smaller grants was awarded to Borestone Primary School for a visit to Bonnyhill dairy farm in the Forth and Clyde area. The school had initially applied for £150 however its approved grant was doubled to £300 by the Trust, to enable them to repeat the visit next year.

And it doesn’t stop there, at the start of 2014 cash will be given out to more groups who have applied.

The deadline for the next round of applications is 20 December, with those who submitted applications hearing if they have been successful after the next Trust meeting on January 13.

NFUS Treasurer and Board member, George Lawrie commented: "The Centenary Trust was set up a year ago to provide a fund that helps children understand agriculture better, encourage school leavers to make agriculture their chosen career, and make the agriculture environment a safer place to work.

"We have been raising money throughout this, our centenary year, with the fund now sitting around £185,000. This comprising of donations from members and charity fundraising around the regions. We have had three application rounds for funding this year, with the fourth application round closing late December 2013.

"To date we have grant-aided 27 projects to a value of £124,000, with as little as £300 to Borestane Primary School Falkirk to help with transport of school children to a local dairy farm, and the largest sum of £17,500 going to Royal Northern Countryside Initiative for the purchase of a mobile classroom allowing the farm to be brought to the school.

"The breakdown between our three aims is £76,800 to helping children understand agriculture better, £37,700 to encourage school leavers to make agriculture their chosen career and £10,000 to make the agriculture environment a safer place to work.

"This is a great legacy to leave the agricultural industry with and hope this will help NFUS members to survive the next 100 years."

One of those to benefit was Slammanan Primary which had its application for £1,291 of funding approved to waterproof clothing and wellies for a range of ages and sizes, allowing the whole school of 134 to get use of the clothing.

The school also received money to set up a project to allow chicks to hatch whereby they could buy lamps and the materials needed.

Lorna Murray of Slammanan Primary who led the project commented: "We are absolutely delighted that our applications were successful and it is very much appreciated. We have a good relationship with one or two farms in this area and the clothing has allowed us to provide suitable footwear and clothing for going onto the farms.

"We have also managed to target the whole school rather than just a certain age group, allowing them to learn different things and widen their experience. As the school doesn’t have much of a parent-teacher association, the grants have allowed us to do activities that it would have been hard to do otherwise."

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