MLA consumer insights indicate only one in five meat eaters have a good understanding of Australian red meat production and only one in three metro Australians have visited a cattle or sheep farm, with these numbers gradually declining over the last 10 years.
That is according to MLA Community Sentiment Research conducted this year.
At a time where there’s a disconnect between agriculture and metropolitan communities, MLA’s schools program helps students understand the red meat and livestock industry in an interactive and engaging way.
Here, we look at three new video-based initiatives launched to continue educating students and their teachers about red meat production during COVID-19.
Your Expert Classroom series
In term 2 2020 MLA sponsored the ‘Your Expert Classroom’ series, a new curriculum-linked program for students aged 5–14 years. The series includes four parts: a series of educational videos, in-home activities, a livestream video Q&A with a producer and an online marketing program targeting parents and teachers.
Teachers will be able to adapt these activities to suit online classrooms as well as physical classrooms.
So far, 246 classes have participated in the series, which covered topics such as:
- Smart agriculture: Doug McNicholl, MLA’s Program Manager – Sustainability and CN30, spoke to students about how Australian red meat producers use technology to enhance sustainability and protect the environment.
- Eat right, move well: Nutrition expert and dietician Peta Carige spoke with students about why a healthy diet is important and highlighted why protein – particularly red meat – is needed to maintain a healthy active lifestyle.
- A healthy start: Peta Carige also shared tips on how to build and maintain a healthy diet with the inclusion of red meat including its benefits, how much we need and how often we need it.
- Greener pastures: To increase awareness that Australian red meat producers are responsible stewards of the land, producer Charlie Arnott spoke to students about the importance of maintaining biodiversity on his farm in Boorowa, NSW.
Watch the video here:
Australian beef brings national sporting heroes to classrooms
To promote Australian beef’s nutritional benefits and its ability to fuel Australian athletes, MLA launched a new module in the Virtual Classroom program as part of the ‘Australian Beef the Greatest’ brand sponsorship of the Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo Games.
The new module Be Your Greatest Virtual Classroom, offers students around Australia the opportunity to chat with Paralympic and Olympic athletes who are also ambassadors for Australian Beef to:
- gain insight into their journey to greatness, including their background story and connection to Australian Beef and agriculture
- learn how they incorporate healthy eating into their active lifestyle with Australian Beef.
Launching in August, term 3 2020 and continuing throughout the lead-up to the Tokyo Games in 2021, the new Virtual Classroom module includes two lesson types:
1. Interview with an athlete – focusing on nutrition, health and wellbeing, students will have the opportunity to interact directly with Australian Beef Ambassadors and learn about their journey to greatness.
- Paralympian’s, Eliza Ault-Connell and Scott Reardon
- Rugby Sevens’ most capped female player, Emilee Cherry and Vice-Captain, Lewis Holland
- Co-captain of the Hockeyroos, Emily Chalker
- Olympian Basketball player, Chris Goulding
2. Creating winning meals – includes livestreamed cooking classes where culinary personality Matt Sinclair teams up with our athlete heroes to cook their ‘winning’ beef meal. Throughout the class, Matt discusses the health benefits of red meat and explains how the athlete uses the energy that their food provides to better themselves in their sport and their community.
Given the current global situation created by COVID-19 and isolation requirements, the livestreamed excursions and virtual classrooms have become even more valuable, allowing students to continue learning about the red meat and livestock industry from the classroom and from home.
Teachers and students can register at mlavirtualexcursions.com
Get kids cooking
Due to COVID-19, many Royal Shows around the country – where children would usually participate in interactive cooking classes – were cancelled.
To continue the engagement with the Royal Show audiences in lieu of the face-to-face events, MLA worked with ‘Get Kids Cooking’ to develop a fun and interactive cooking video. The video teaches young Aussies aged 5–13 (and their parents) how to cook red meat and learn more about the nutritional benefits of eating red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet.
The video guides kids through a step-by-step recipe to create mini beef sliders at home. Not only do kids and their parents enjoy a delicious meaty meal but they also gain a greater understanding of Australian red meat’s health benefits.
Watch the video here: