New scheme to introduce farming to schoolchildren launched

By Chris Wright, Partner and ARA specialist

In a bid to build a deeper understanding and connection between schoolchildren and the origins of their food, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is initiating a pilot project. This initiative, undertaken in partnership with LEAF Education, is designed to create memorable on-farm experiences for schoolchildren, thereby nurturing a generation more in tune with the agricultural sector.

The pilot project is set to offer 20 farmers from the livestock and arable sectors, who are relatively new to hosting school visits, an opportunity to receive funded training and support to conduct school visits. The selected farmers will undergo the fully funded Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS) training and accreditation, commencing in November.

This initiative not only equips farmers with the necessary skills to host educational visits but also provides a platform to network with other farmers and gain insights from LEAF education specialists.

Enriching the learning experience for schoolchildren

A significant aspect of this project is to allow more children to witness the workings of a farm firsthand, cultivating a genuine connection with the source of their food. Schools will be provided with funding to cover transportation costs, a move aimed at overcoming one of the primary hurdles in organising farm visits.

Industry insights

Roz Reynolds, AHDB’s head of education, expressed enthusiasm about the launch of the pilot project, highlighting the potential it holds in transforming the way schoolchildren perceive and understand the origin of their food.

Carl Edwards, LEAF’s director of education, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the critical role of this project in equipping farmers with the skills and knowledge required to produce engaging and informative school visits. The overarching goal is to ensure the next generation has a good understanding of food production, tracing the journey from farm to fork.

For more information on the application process and the initiative, please stay tuned for updates from AHDB and LEAF Education.