Maitland Community Preschool hosts farm week for NSW drought-stricken farmers

You’re never too young to start learning about life on the land.

Throughout the year, Maitland Community Preschool children were taught about the importance of farming.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the centre hosted a farm week awareness and fundraiser.

The week included visits from local farmers, an educational obstacle course featuring different aspects of farm life, and a dress up as a farmer fundraiser.

Admin manager Anne-Maree Smith said she had a history with farming and was passionate about helping.

“Even in the best of times it’s really hard to be a farmer and when they’re in drought, the conditions just make it so much harder and its very worrying for them,” she said.

“In Term 1 we called for donations from children – they brought in piggy banks and money banks to donate to the farmers and we sent that money away to Buy A Bale.”

The drought wasn’t showing any signs of slowing so centre staff members chose to continue their support.

“We decided we’d have a dress up as a farmer day and a gold coin donation and join with Farmers Warehouse with their drive for collection and donations,” Ms Smith said.

“All the kids are really excited about dressing up as farmers and we’re raising donations, food, money – anything we can get.

“We’re also collecting bottles and cans to give a cash donation as well with Return and Earn.”

It may be a help to the farmers, but the week proved beneficial for the children too.

“It’s ticking a lot of boxes educationally,” Ms Smith said.

“There are sustainability lessons as well as empathy and compassion.

“It’s really important for them to understand that it’s not just about here in Maitland.

“It’s a big problem out further and we just want children to understand that if we all help together we can make a bit easier for them.

“We can’t make it rain but we can make it a bit easier.”

A few farmers visited the centre through the week to share their stories with the children.

At the end of their talks, they left a room full of children who wanted to become farmers when they grew up.

“I hope we’re inspiring somebody to continue on to be a farmer,” Ms Smith said.