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Dublin ZooAgri Aware

Hey there! Steph and Éadaoin back again after another busy week at Agri Aware’s Family Farm in Dublin Zoo.

From Monday, July 4 to Wednesday, July 6, teacher in-service days were held at Dublin Zoo. Family Farm teacher, Elizabeth Finnegan, along with the help of Agri Aware’s Young Farmers, educated teachers from all over the country on how to introduce awareness and interest in agriculture, pollination and biodiversity to their students in the classroom. The teachers were introduced to a lot of creative and engaging material on the importance of farming, created by Agri Aware, that they could put to use at school.

The weekend of Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, saw the Family Farm a buzz of activity for Farm Appreciation Weekend. On display on Family Farm, was everything from a visual comparison of what humans eat on a daily basis in comparison to cattle, as well as ‘Meet the feet’ and ‘Name the breed’ games which really tested visitors’ knowledge of farm animals.

Despite a wet start to the morning there was a great turnout at Family Farm on Saturday. There were no complaints from Steph and I about the rain as we know Ireland’s wet climate is the reason why the beautiful green Irish landscape is such a major tourist attraction.

Meet the Farmer in the City farmer, Sebana Moynagh, a beef farmer from County Cavan returned to see her Charolais cow and calf, Gertie and Maeve and answered questions from visitors at Family Farm about them. She also spoke about other farm animals. Sebana was excellent as ever, teaching visitors how animals on EU farms have ear tags, which give them an individual identity number so that we, as consumers, can trace back our food to where it comes from.

A Farm Appreciation colouring competition was also held, and the overall winner, Sarah Doyle from County Dublin was given a goody bag which contained information on CAP, as well as Agri Aware promotional items, for her excellent artistic skills. To honour Farm Appreciation Weekend, Young Farmer Steph and I set up farm animal themed face painting and as a result there were loads of visitors with pig, cow and chick faces going around the Family Farm!

On Sunday we were joined by Meet the Farmer in the City farmer, Laurence Ward. Laurence is a sheep farmer and has 700 Texel X Suffolk sheep in County Dublin. Laurence was very informative throughout his hourly farm tours at Family Farm and everyone listened closely to his expert knowledge. Laurence told visitors how farmers mark their sheep with permanent paint to make them easy to identify.

Farm Appreciation Weekend turned out to be a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who stopped by Family Farm. The past few weeks have been fun and educational. Raising awareness of CAP and informing the public on Irish agriculture and the Family Farm is extremely rewarding.

We are looking forward to the weeks ahead as we have lots more fun and educational activities planned for visitors to the Family Farm.

Hope to see you soon!

Steph and Éadaoin.