Fungi fanatics reap rewards

Published Monday, 19 August, 2013 at 03:22 PM

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh

Young science enthusiasts have been recognised for their excellent efforts at the Schools Plant Science Competition awards ceremony held on 13 August 2013 at DAFF’s Hermitage Research Facility.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh said the competition aimed to stimulate an interest in science and agriculture in young people.

“The competition has been running annually since 1997, and has helped thousands of students across Australia to gain a better understanding of agriculture and crop science,” Mr McVeigh said.

“This year’s competition theme was ‘Food, Farming and Fungi’.  Over 250 entries were received from 59 schools across Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.

“Participants studied the world of fungi, discovering how the kingdom of organisms is important to agricultural systems and food production.”

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) competition coordinator Kerrie Rubie said tasks included performing a mouldy bread experiment, a yeast making experiment, creating a lichen catalogue and playing a soils role-play card game.

“Primary school students created magnificent mushrooms from craft and textile materials in the art competition section,” Ms Rubie said.

“Older students designed posters on fungi’s relationship with agriculture and wrote essays on the topic of international agricultural research and training in the fight against exotic plant diseases.

“Year 6 and 7 students from Warwick East State School gave a presentation at the ceremony highlighting their experiences and feedback about the fungi themed competition.

“Following the presentation of awards, guests attended a guided tour of the Hermitage Research Facility and learnt more about DAFF’s agricultural science projects and how the topic ‘Food, Farming and Fungi’ is relevant to real world science and our daily lives.”

Major prizes included a range of trophies, medallions, digital microscopes, digital cameras, science kits, mushroom growing kits, DVDs, books and certificates and were won by: the Marshall Road State School, Millchester State School, Oakey State High School, Warwick East State School, Middle Park State School, Glasshouse Country Christian College, Townsville Central State School, Murray’s Bridge State School, Tasmanian eSchool, Dalveen State School, Pilton State School, Freestone State School and Biddeston State School.

For full competition winner details visit

[ENDS] 19 August 2013

Media Contact: Louise Gillis 0408 709 160