AT THE 2002 Toowoomba Show, 350 schoolchildren visited the Grain Tent of Ag-Ed to learn about the different types of grain grown in Queensland.
Working on the theory that people learn through their stomach, the students were shown a variety of foods that are made from grain. They learnt about pasta, noodles and the different types of bread that are made from Australian wheat.
The children were surprised at the variety of food that is made from corn, ranging from corn flakes and tacos to cheezels and lollies.
Although they didn't think they ate pulse crops, they all knew what baked beans were and were keen to learn about the different ways chickpeas and mung beans are eaten in Asian countries. Only a few had eaten chickpeas, but they may have given it more consideration as they learned about the importance of this food in other cultures like India.
Said Ag-Ed presenter Marg Cover: "By seeing the food made from grains and pulse crops, the children gained a greater understanding of the importance of the grain industry that provides them with so much of what they eat."
The children from Gabbinbar State School testified: "Great presentation - enjoyed seeing the products, feeling the sample grains and winning prizes." "Great to see women presenters/farmers." "Thank you for the showbag."
The children learned about the process of milling wheat and were shown the flour, bran and wheat germ. A sizeable number were amazed that flour is "just wheat that has been taken apart". They had believed that flour was somehow made artificially and that the 'white powder' didn't relate to the golden wheat grains.
Ag-Ed is an excellent opportunity for primary producers to have first-hand contact with children. It allows farmers to share their knowledge with young people and explain the importance of what is produced on their farms.