Pictured getting started is six year old Lauren Cheatley. PIC: PRESSEYE/KELVIN BOYES

Pictured getting started is six year old Lauren Cheatley. PIC: PRESSEYE/KELVIN BOYES

THOUSANDS of children across Northern Ireland will be learning about local farming whilst getting creative, with the chance to win prizes for their school.

Musgrave Retail Partners (MRPNI) and its independent retailers – SuperValu, Centra and Mace – have teamed up with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) to launch a competition now available to all nursery, primary and special schools.

Pupils are invited to create pieces of visual art as a class, with the category for Nursery, P1-2 and P3-4 of ‘Seasons of Farming’ and for P5-7, ‘Farm Safety’.

Creative and technical skills will be tested as pupils can create a picture or poster, a collage, or a sculpture using any materials possible such as sheep’s wool before the March 20th deadline.

MRPNI Acting Managing Director Damian McCarney said: “Musgrave Retail Partners is delighted to team up with the Ulster Farmers Union on this innovative and worthwhilinitiative that will engage young people in one of the biggest and fastest growing industries in Northern Ireland.

“We have strong relationships with our local suppliers and understand first-hand the importance of the agri-food industry to the Northern Ireland economy. Musgrave firmly believes in using local suppliers and is proud to support an initiative that encourages young people to learn more about the sector,” Damian added.

UFU Deputy President, Barclay Bell, said: “Musgrave’s support for our schools competition is invaluable in helping to ensure we raise young people’s awareness of local produce and farming. Through initiatives such as this, the message we’re trying to pass onto the younger generation is that farming matters to everyone.

“Without agriculture, there would be no food production. Almost all the food we consume is either produced on, or made out of farm produce. It’s a huge part of Northern Ireland’s economy, with over 24,000 farms which provide employment for around 50,000 people,” he added.

For further information and to enter the competition, schools should contact David McConaghy at the Ulster Farmers’ Union on The winning class in each category will receive £200 and the runners-up will receive £100 each. The winners will also have the opportunity to receive a visit from Mash Direct in June.

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