Rural schools around the country have been able to boost resources thanks to the help of farmers and fertiliser company, Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate Ltd.
Farmers throughout New Zealand are invited to donate money to Hatuma’s “Growing Minds” fund by nominating a school and in return Hatuma donates a percentage of their dicalcic phosphate order to that school.
Over the last four years the company has donated over $20,000 to rural schools through the programme.
Flemington School in Central Hawke’s Bay attracted support from farmers this year.
Principal Phil Bourke says the help provided by Hatuma and farmers gives a welcome boost to country schools, which are faced with many challenges.
“Rural schools often struggle with dwindling rolls and staffing issues so having a sense of community is crucial. The extra funding opens up more opportunity.”
Central Hawke’s Bay farmers also help Flemington School raise money by grazing cattle.
“The school buys the cattle and then farmers graze them for free. Up to 30 farmers will graze one or two cattle at a time. It works really well and we appreciate the support from the local community.”
With a roll of 72, Flemington School has three Government funded classrooms and three teachers.
“Through the support of local farmers and companies like Hatuma we are able to employ an extra teacher for a half a day, each day.”
Central Hawke’s Bay farmer Sam Twigg has used Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate for the past 20 years and has been more than happy to get in behind the Growing Minds Fund.
“I think it’s important to support our country schools through these different initiatives. Hatuma recognises the vital role rural schools play in our communities. Education is critical for our future generations so we need to support schools on our back door step.”
Mr Twigg has triplets, Isaac, Louis and Joseph in their last year at Flemington School and says he will continue to support the school when they leave.
“When the boys move on I will continue to graze cattle and donate money through using Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate because extra resources for country schools like Flemington are critical. I know a lot of farmers who don’t have children at the school, but financially get in behind it, because they also recognise the leading role schools play in the community.”
Hatuma Marketing and Sales Manager, Aaron Topp says the feedback from customers and schools has been very positive.
“Rural primary schools are the centre of our country communities and farmers have enjoyed providing support. The Growing Minds fund has been set up in a way that farmers can carry on business as usual and their local school benefits. So it’s a win for everyone.”
“With traditional funding for rural schools lessening, we feel we have a role to play as a rural business, focused on our community. We want to show our support for the next generation of rural New Zealanders. It costs our customers nothing extra and it’s Hatuma’s way of giving back to the community.”
For more information contact
Catherine Wedd 0212886770, 068783196