Kim is a finalist in the Rural Women’s Award

FINALIST: Mansfield’s Kim Stoney has been named as a finalist in the Rural Women’s Award for 2015. Her project “The Toolbox” is expected to be taken to more than 200 early childhood centres around the state. She is pictured at her Farmhouse Child Care Centre with (from left) Jax Heath, Tiffany Wang and Katie Ferguson.

MANSFIELD sheep and cattle producer Kim Stoney is in the running for the state’s 2015 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award.

With a busy sheep and cattle farm, four young children and an early childhood centre to run, Kim has seen the learning benefits her children receive from growing up on a farm.

Kim developed ‘The Farmhouse’ Child Care Centre to encourage a learning environment for local children based on the natural environment around them.

Kim’s project will deliver ‘The Toolbox’ to 200 early childhood services across Victoria so they may also experience nature-based learning.

“The Toolbox is all about encouraging food and fibre production and the appreciation of agriculture from a very early age,” Ms Stoney said last week after the announcement.

“I aim to take the program to existing kindergartens and child care centres and encourage others to teach children the benefits of growing foods and fibres – making that connection with agriculture and production.

“It’s a program that can be adapted to suit the space and size of any centre – it doesn’t take much room to grow a pot of herbs or a fruit tree in a tub,” she said.

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