Since launching the Food and Agricultural Education Promotion Program in 2017, the Council of Agriculture (COA) has guided 100 diverse groups to promote it each year, and has designated the 15th of each month to be “Food Day,” helping all citizens to get to know domestic agriproducts and to get in line with the ideas of eating seasonal and locally grown food. On January 18, 2020, the COA held an exhibition of the successes of food and agricultural education (hereafter FAE), entitled “Food and Agricultural Classrooms, Exploration for Every Citizen,” in the multi-functional exhibition area on the first floor of Taipei Main Station. That same morning the COA presented awards to schools with the finest FAE programs for 2019. It is hoped that this demonstration of FAE success stories will help citizens understand the variety of methods used in promoting FAE, so that FAE will become a country-wide movement.
Bringing FAE onto campuses, strengthening the dissemination of food and agricultural information
The COA states that the 2019 Food and Agricultural Education Promotion Program focused on the issue of “agricultural production and the environment.” The COA encouraged diverse groups to develop teaching materials and lesson plans for different age groups based on the groups’ local resources and terroir, to make it possible for FAE to penetrate deeply into homes, schools, and communities. The instructional design team, consisting of the schools which were outstanding in the 2018 FAE Promotion Program, used teaching materials about domestic agriproducts developed by various District Agricultural Research and Extension Stations of the COA to lay out FAE education plans, curriculums, and activities for schools, thereby upgrading the accuracy of information that was disseminated about food and agriculture.
Awards were presented to 32 schools (see attached list). Of these, Taoyuan City Nei-Li Junior High School’s FAE has gone from vegetable plants to a garden and from scattered classes to thematic courses. Their courses were comprehensive and integrated FAE into domain-specific curriculums so that disseminated information was disseminated even more effectively. Award-winning schools are sharing their experiences in implementing FAE, in hopes that more schools and other groups will join the ranks of those promoting FAE.
Diversified teaching materials and results of promotion, integrating FAE into the lives of citizens
The COA points out that for this event they invited 100 FAE implementing organizations to introduce their teaching materials and programs to the public, who could look at the posters on display and get to know the multiple ways in which schools, community organizations, farmers’ associations, non-profit organizations, and other groups are promoting FAE. Of these groups, the Dounan Township Farmers’ Association and the Linbian District Fishermen’s Association offered experiential activities on these themes of, respectively, “Rice Heart Attack” (a board game about rice) and the challenges of raising grouper in aquaculture ponds, demonstrating the power of farmers’ and fishermen’s associations to extend FAE to more people. The exhibition was very fun and educational, and through level-based games, experiential activities, and teaching materials about domestic agriproducts, enabled citizens to get to know domestic farm, fisheries, and animal husbandry products from Taiwan and strengthen people’s food and agricultural literacy.
The COA states that the 2020 Food and Agricultural Education Promotion Program will soon be underway, and the COA encourages applicants to devise innovative proposals to submit: Proposals can be made for any creative, strategic, and exemplary promotion models that revolve around themes of agricultural production and the environment, healthy diet and consumption, and dietary lifestyles and culture, and that also fit in with development of local agriculture and special features of the local diet. It is expected that 60 proposals will be subsidized, with the maximum subsidy for any proposal being NT$500,000. The COA welcomes all groups with an interest in promoting FAE to visit the “Food and Agricultural Education Information Platform” to download the “Basic Introduction for Submissions to the 2020 Food and Agricultural Education Promotion Program.” If you have any questions, please consult with Ms. Yeh or Ms. Lin in the Agriculture Management Department of the China Productivity Center (telephone: (02) 2698-2989 ext.02932 or 02963, email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).