Rural Affairs

UFU schools’ competition

Launching the 2024 ‘supporting local produce in NI’ schools’ competition at Straidbilly Primary School, County Antrim is Joe McDonald, Head of Corporate Affairs Asda NI, Mrs Clark, teacher and BOIOFW farm host, William Irvine, UFU deputy president and BOIOFW chairman, and Straidbilly Primary School pupils.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) in partnership with the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend initiative and competition sponsor Asda, are challenging pupils across Northern Ireland (NI) to put their creative flare to the test in this year’s ‘supporting local produce in NI’ schools’ competition.

This year’s school’s competition theme, ‘supporting local produce in NI’ provides an opportunity for teachers and parents to start the discussion about the importance of supporting local food production and our unique family farm structure in NI. The competition will raise awareness amongst pupils on the origin of food and the all-important role that farming families play in society, producing food to feed a growing population, caring for the countryside, providing employment, supporting rural communities and the economy.

The competition is open to all playgroups, nursery, primary and special schools and is split into five sections:
  • Foundation level (Nursery, pre-school and playgroups): Pupils should decorate the picture of the farmer “Supporting local produce in NI.”
  • Foundation (Primary 1 and Primary 2): Pupils should decorate the picture and fill in the harvesting process.
  • Key stage 1 (Primary 3 and 4): Design a one course meal using local homegrown produce. Pupils should incorporate a short description of how you can make the dish.
  • Key stage 2 (Primary 5, 6 and 7): Create a logo to support local produce that would be displayed on packaging. Pupils should include a slogan to accompany the logo highlighting why you should purchase local produce.
  • ·Special schools: Can enter any section of the competition.
Prizes sponsored by Asda include:
  • £200 for the winning school in each section plus transport for a class to nearest participating open farm.
  • £40 for the winning pupil in each section.
  • £100 for the runner-up school in each section plus a Bramley apple tree.
  • £20 for the runner-up pupil in each section.
  • Planting set for third place pupil in each section.
  • Highly commended certificates.

Entry forms have been sent electronically to all playgroups, nursery, pre-school primary and special schools. Schools’ competition templates are available by clicking here.

The closing date for entries is Friday 29 March 2024.

For further information visit or contact Lynsay Hawkes at UFU HQ on 028 9037 0222 or