Friday, December 1, 2023
2.5 C
HomeFarming NewsNew book aimed at educating primary school children about Irish agriculture
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

New book aimed at educating primary school children about Irish agriculture

A new book for primary school children, that uses poetry to help simplify the science behind Irish farming and food for health and wellbeing, will be made available to every primary school in Ireland next week.

Teachers will also be able to register for a webinar with the author of the book, Dr. Vanessa Woods. She will discuss the content and explain how it is ready to use in the classroom, being linked with the SESE curriculum.

Targeted at children and adults

Irish Food, From A-Z’ is written through the medium of poetry, accompanied by colourful illustrations. Although the book is primarily aimed at children aged 4-12 via this particular schools project, it is also targeted at adults.

The science-based and curriculum-linked educational resource is presented in a way that is accessible and engaging for children.

It covers a wide range of topics such as food nutrients, sustainability, traceability, soil health, grass-fed Irish food, greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration, biodiversity, the importance of a balanced diet, dental health, farm safety and Irish culture.


The book has been written by Dr. Vanessa Woods, a scientist and consumer engagement professional. She is focused on informing and educating Irish consumers of all ages about the story of sustainable and nutritious food grown by Irish farmers and the importance of collaboration across the food value chain.

- Advertisement -

From Athboy, Co. Meath, Vanessa grew up on a farm and has a passion for the land and marrying the science of farming, food, and health. She holds a BSc in Microbiology from NUI Galway and a PhD from University College Dublin.

Furthermore, she has also served as CEO of Agri Aware and works with the European Commission as an evaluator of EU Horizon 2020 funding proposals. In addition, in 2018, she founded Vanessa B. Woods Communications, with a company mission statement to ‘communicate complex science simply’.

First step in delivering science-based messages

Vanessa says she wrote ‘Irish Food, From A-Z’ to help encourage science-based discussion on food nutrients, healthy eating and the green climate agenda in primary schools and homes across the country.

“Irish farming families have been farming for generations, working in harmony with nature, as custodians of the landscape for future generations.”

“Our farmers grow quality, safe, traceable, sustainable and nutrient-dense Irish food at an affordable price for consumers.”

“The work of Irish farmers is underpinned by world-class science as they seek to become more sustainable. However, not everybody is aware of this science. We have a duty to find better ways to lead consumers to knowledge.”

“Irish Food, From A-Z is the first step in delivering science-based messages to children, their teachers and parents by telling the story of sustainable and nutritious Irish food and its importance for good dental health, human health and wellbeing, via poetry.”

Irish Food, From A-Z’ will be delivered to school principals in over 3,200 primary schools and to teacher training colleges across Ireland next week.

This will be undertaken with the support of:

Lead partner:
  • FBD Insurance
Major partners:   
  • Agri Aware;
  • Deansgrange Dental Clinic;
  • Laboratory Supplies Ltd T/A Lennox, Monaghan, Thornton & Co. Accountants.
Key partners:
  • Country Crest;
  • FRS Network;
  • ICBF;
  • Irish Farmers’ Association;
  • Irish Holstein Friesian Association;
  • Keelings;
  • Kepak Group;
  • Liffey Meats;
  • Margaret’s Eggs;
  • Slaney Foods.
  • Drummonds Feed, Seeds & Grain Merchants;
  • Lely Atlantic.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, said the engaging and informative curriculum-linked book provides students with “fantastic insights into where the food we eat comes from and the importance of the nutrients in our food for our health and wellbeing”.

Michael Berkery, Chairman, FBD Trust said the “modern and attractively illustrated book” will open a window on food through education that has societal benefits as well as fun and stimulation for students.

Order book

The book can also be ordered online at

- Advertisment -

Most Popular