Rural Affairs

UFU ‘supporting local produce in NI’ schools’ competition

Straidbilly Primary School pupils, County Antrim pictured alongside Joe McDonald, Head of Corporate Affairs Asda NI and BOIOFW farm host, William Irvine, UFU deputy president and BOIOFW chairman.

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

The competition is open to all playgroups, nursery, primary and special schools and is split into five sections.

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.

Each year, the judges are continually impressed by the creativity, standard and volume of entries received, so much so, that the UFU has introduced additional prizes including third place and highly commended certificates.

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

BOIOFW is taking place on Friday 14 (schools’ day), Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June 2024. The UFU encourage all schools to consider organising an educational trip to a local participating farm on Friday 14 June. More details to follow.