Agriculture baron makes record donation to our schools
STUDENTS across the South Burnett will learn more about life on the land by reading a series of books being donated to every school in the region this week.
Agricultural magnate John Nicoletti has become the largest private donor to the education system by donating a set of author Alice Mabin's The Grower series of books to 2000 schools across Australia.
"I grew up in a marginal area in the wheat belt of WA," Mr Nicoletti said.
"I've probably seen more droughts than good years, but I still managed to put together a big chunk of land.
"I want to encourage our young people, if we can give 10 or 50 or 100 people the inspiration to get out there and have a real crack - this is what it's about."
Ms Mabin took to social media to facilitate the books' dispersion and South Burnett farmer Lachy Brown of Pakaderinga Feedlot made the pledge to cover the cost of freight to every school in the South Burnett.
"There are a lot of kids out there that don't have a cousin that lives on a farm or direct contact in the industry and it is a simple way they can learn by picking up a book," Mr Brown said.
Ms Mabin believes agriculture is the heart of Australia, and thanks to this generous donation, schoolkids will get a better understanding of how and why that is.
"I saw the passion and perseverance that Aussie growers put into their animals and produce, but I also saw the disconnect between this industry and the people who are fed and clothed because of it," she said.
"I knew I needed to somehow bridge that divide between those who are involved and those who aren't, the country and the city, and get recognition for our farmers and John took it one step further by making sure as many schoolkids as possible can get their hands on these books."