THE Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) has travelled the length and breadth of Northern Ireland to deliver educational primary school cookery demonstrations.
The commission launched the initial round of its primary school education programme in May this year and has been bowled over by the overwhelmingly positive response from teachers and pupils.
LMC marketing and communications manager, Lauren Patterson said: “I am happy to confirm that LMC visited over 80 primary schools across Northern Ireland during the opening round of these demonstrations.
“We are delighted that over 1,800 pupils have participated in our cookery demonstrations and these pupils have had an opportunity to learn about the health and environmental benefits of Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) beef and lamb.”
The majority of demonstrations were delivered to primary six pupils with LMC facilitating demonstrations in primary schools in all six counties across Northern Ireland.
“This is a truly incredible response to the first tranche of our enhanced educational programme,” Lauren remarked, adding: “Expanding our education programme to offer primary school cookery demonstrations was a natural progression for LMC and our aim to support teachers and pupils in Northern Ireland.
“Having visited some participating schools, I can say that it is hugely encouraging to see how engaged the young people are in the environment around them.
“Our demonstrators educate pupils about the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIFQAS) and the importance of looking out for the logo.
“Many of the pupils already recognise the logo and can share informed thoughts on the importance of buying local food and supporting local farmers.
“Pupils are enthusiastic and interested to learn more about the role that farming plays in producing food and the importance of beef and lamb as part of a balanced diet.
“Each of our demonstrations close with pupils sampling a freshly cooked, nutritious NIFQA dish and this time is also a great opportunity for an informal Q&A session.”
Feedback from teachers has been encouraging with many commenting on the how engaged the pupils were throughout the demonstration.
Recently, LMC delivered a cookery demonstration to P5 and P6 pupils at Derryhale primary school.
Class teacher Mrs Vallelly summed the demonstration up as a “fantastic experience”.
She said: “The children really loved it and were so engaged throughout. The demonstrator’s questions were brilliant and pitched at the right level to keep the children interested.
“She taught them so much about the Farm Quality Assured aspect of the meat she was using in such a child friendly way.”
Ms Kelly, teacher at Fairhill primary school, said: “I thought the demonstration was excellent and the children listened with enthusiasm. It was a great experience for the children.”
Dromara primary school teacher Ms Milligan said: “The children in my class have already made the chilli beef recipe at home with parents.”
Lauren concluded: “We are delighted to have received such positive feedback on all aspects of these demonstrations.
“LMC’s chilli beef pasta recipe was the most popular with primary school pupils, and we are delighted that it has been a big hit outside the classroom too!
“LMC primary school cookery demonstrations will relaunch in Spring 2023.
“Further information on our primary school education programme can be found on our website www.food4life.org.uk”
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