Community education about agriculture is a core function of RASWA and this is reflected in the RASWA Strategic Plan 2012-17. Activities undertaken by RASWA include:
Tens of thousands of children in more than 150 primary schools have learnt about WA from an agricultural perspective since RASWA introduced a school education program in 2011.
FarmEd is free to schools and consists of a theatre piece, in class activities and student resources. The program is curriculum based with the content developed by teachers and agricultural specialists. The play - ’The Country Life’, aims to raise awareness of where our food comes from, sustainability, the use of technology in farming to maintain and support food production and the different careers available in agriculture.
RASWA has set up an education and community foundation which seeks to raise and distribute funds to young people studying in agricultural related areas and for community initiatives in regional areas. RASWA administers two tertiary scholarships, six high school scholarships, is a partner in a national program of tertiary scholarships and offers one youth award and one community award to individuals demonstrating leadership roles within regional communities.
Agricultural Hall of Fame
RASWA established the Hal of Fame at Claremont Showground to recognise the achievements of individuals within the industry. The Hall of Fame is open to the public during the IGA Perth Royal Show and by appointment at other times of the year. Website information about the inductees and the agricultural industry is a significant educational resource.
Farm 2 Food
Education at the IGA Perth Royal Show
The Farm 2 Food exhibit is a key educational platform at the IGA Perth Royal Show. It teaches children where their food comes from with educational material developed by agricultural specialists and a teacher employed by RASWA. Activities for children include cooking classes, a potato dig milling wheat into flour, grade grain, and roll pastry. Educational topics include fruit and vegetable, grain production, egg, honey production and dairy production. A “Junior Farmer” activity book that children complete at Show reinforces the exhibit’s key learning areas.
Farmtech is an interactive educational exhibit primarily aimed at primary school aged children which demonstrates the technology and innovation that underpins modern agricultural practices.
RASWA established this exhibit in 2015 in support of International Year of Soils. Discover Dirt provides parents and children aged 4 – 12 years with an understanding of the important role soil plays in our environment, in particular food production. This exhibit will include a number of interactive activities designed to communicate the challenges farmers face in our ever-changing environment, and the sustainable practices used to grow our food.
IGA Follow the Yellow Brick Road
The IGA Follow the Yellow Brick Road (FYBR) activity at the IGA Perth Royal Show encourages showgoers to take part in activities that promote WA industries by exploring the key agricultural and food pavilions. Each year about 15,000 families complete the trail.
Dairy Industry Showcase
Milking sessions are held five times a day and there are opportunities for youngsters to feed calves. These sessions are hosted by a farmer who discusses the process and technology used in modern milking facilities, end use products and the challenges facing the dairy industry. Showgoers are encouraged to interact with dairy farmers and ask questions. Educational storyboards provide valuable insights into the dairy industry in the Dairy Pavilion.
Walk Through WA
Regional WA has the opportunity to showcase its communities and industries to the urban population through the Walk Through WA exhibit. Site space, cash funding, logistic and public relations support is provided to each participating region.
Industry Support at the IGA Perth Royal Show
RASWA supports the agricultural industry by providing site space, logistical and marketing support for industry exhibits.
Perceptions of the IGA Perth Royal Show
Research carried out on behalf of RASWA has found that:
- Animal and educational exhibit rate are among the top three attractions at the event.
- 86% of Western Australians perceive the event as showcasing the best products, animals and produce in WA.
- 75% of people view the Show as offering credible learning experiences for children.
- 84% of Show visitors are satisfied with the education content of the event.
RASWA spends more than $2 million to coordinate agricultural competitions that benchmark excellence in agriculture. At the same time a further $1 million is invested to coordinate competitions celebrating the arts, recreational and cultural activities important to West Australians.
- Educational Material to Support Competitions
Each year RASWA invests in interactive learning initiatives across the agricultural pavilions to more effectively engage the public with the displays and competitions.
RASWA is part of a national program of judging which gives young people the opportunity to develop industry skills and experience in a range of agricultural competitions. At the same time, RASWA hosts a State competition for all agricultural high schools that complements key learning areas.