A NEW nationwide campaign has been launched to celebrate the fantastic story behind Scottish beef production.

The Royal Highland Education Trust has unveiled its 'Year of Beef', coinciding with the academic year and with the hope of promoting the facts behind beef production in Scotland to pupils.

RHET has teamed up with the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative and Quality Meat Scotland to spread the word, and have announced a full calendar of activities, which teachers can tie in with weekly lesson plans, with new resources to be published on the website every Wednesday.

These will include video interviews with farmers, interactive farming maths challenges, educational games, cooking demonstrations and more. All these resources and people’s time are free for schools to access and RHET are keen to get as many schools as possible signed up to this new learning initiative.

The Scottish Farmer:

RHET's new online learning resources will support teachers to teach their pupils about where food comes from in the absence of traditional farm visits 

However, it is not only down to teachers to get behind the new campaign – RHET is calling for the wider agricultural industry to back their 'Year of Beef'.

RHET Fife coordinator Carole Brunton has been one of the main drivers behind the new campaign alongside Borders co-ordinator Lesley Mason. She hopes the new initiative will kickstart food and farming learning in schools after months of absence due to the pandemic: “Pupils have missed out on vital conversations around the farm to fork process as RHET hasn’t been able to go into schools or organise farm visits for well over a year now.

“It can be very daunting for teachers to tackle conversations around where meat comes from with their pupils if they aren’t from a farming background, so with these new resources, we can help them to feel confident to engage in these discussions,” she explained.

“We aren’t here to advocate what is right or wrong, but by providing this information we can help pupils learn more about the facts behind beef, so they can go on to make informed decisions in the long-run.”


Commenting on why they chose to zone in on beef production, she continued: “We felt for our first ‘year of’ we would focus on beef, given the negative press the industry has received and the need to separate the facts from the fiction that have been circulating." She added that the 'Year of Arable' is in the pipeline for next year.

Mrs Brunton called for farmers to rally around RHET’s new idea: “The passion and dedication of Scottish farmers produces some of the best beef in the world. With COP26 looming we need our farming sector to be making a positive noise for all to hear,” she said, urging farmers to put on a united front in cutting through the misinformation which she believed was likely to emerge from the anti-meat movement.

NFUS president, Martin Kennedy, added: "The Year of Beef campaign is something NFU Scotland is supporting for many reasons. The beef industry is not only the engine room of our rural economy, it also delivers sustainable food production of the highest quality and helps us maintain an environment that is the envy of many across the globe.

“Please help by backing this campaign and support RHET throughout the coming year.”

RHET’s new campaign will not only be looking for the industry to share their stories and positive messages with the public online, but will be hoping for financial support from organisations and individuals, in order for RHET to continue its vital work in delivering farm to fork messaging to school kids.

To find out more about how you can get involved with the 'Year of Beef' and to sign up for the free resources visit: https://www.rhet.org.uk/what-we-do/year-of-beef/

Or contact Carole Brunton on fife@rhet.org.uk or Lesley Mason on borders@rhet.org.uk