St Francis National School in Donegal Town is celebrating after one of its students was named the Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools regional champion for Ulster and two more took home the accolades for runners up.
Pascal, a 4th class pupil in St Francis National School, Donegal Town, was chosen after his name was put forward for the award.
His classmates, Mia and Thomas were announced as runners-up making St Francis true Ulster Champions.
St Francis National School is currently taking part in the Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme which aims to kickstart farm safety conversations in classrooms nationwide.
Over the course of the programme, Champions are selected from each region and awarded a certificate of achievement and a family pass to Dublin Zoo, kindly sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
Champions are those children who are demonstrating excellence, innovation and commitment to improving farm safety awareness as part of the programme.
The Regional Champions have gone above and beyond what is expected of them within the programme. They are passionate not just about farming but about making sure the message of farm safety is included and very much part of the conversation in their classrooms, at home and in their community.
Farm Safe Schools coordinator and AgriKids founder, Alma Jordan explained what made Pascal stand out from the crowd.
“We received a huge volume of entries for the Regional Awards and it proves the ability and capability of our children to change the culture around farm safety.
“Pascal was busy educating his classmates on how jobs need to be done safely on the farm and the importance of knowing the dangers when on the farm. He drew up a map of his own farm, identifying the dangers in different areas and made sure that all the correct signs are in place to keep it safe for his dad, brothers and any visitors.
“We even saw pictures of Pascal wearing his hi-vis vest and showing first-hand how important safety is to him. His willingness to share on the topic of farm safety is tremendous, this is exactly what Farm Safe Schools is all about.”
The Farm Safe Schools programme is a collaboration between Agri Aware, AgriKids, the IFA and is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in Primary Schools across Ireland.
Agri Aware Chairman, Alan Jagoe expressed his delight to all the regional winners.
“The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme sets out to create learning and understanding on the topic of farm safety to younger children.
“These regional award winners are a testament to the talent, tenacity and potential our children have in creating a safer future on Irish farms. I want to thank their teachers for bringing the programme into the classrooms and for recognising the champions in their class.
“I would like to thank the Department of Agriculture and Minister Martin Heydon, for their support of this dedicated farm safety programme.”