This June, Farming Fortnight is set to shine a light on farming and food production to inspire young minds of all ages about where their food comes from, how it is produced and its relevance to issues around climate change, healthy diets, wellbeing and future careers.
Managed by LEAF Education and developed in partnership with Brockhill Park Performing Arts College in Kent, Farming Fortnight which runs from the 1st to 12th June, offers a wide range of engaging and informative learning resources covering all key stages for parents and teachers to access via the Countryside Classroom online portal – whether at home or in the classroom. These include videos, topic sheets, lesson plans and activities – all aimed at bringing the world of farming closer to young people. Each day of the campaign has its own farming theme and accompanying social media hashtag – ranging from arable farming (#TractorTuesday), the sheep industry (#WoollyWednesday) through to fruit and vegetable production (#TastyTuesday) to careers in farming (#FutureFarming). Everyone involved will be encouraged to share their learning experiences on social media.
LEAF Education Director of Education and Public Engagement, Carl Edwards explained: “The response we had to last year’s Farming Fortnight was amazing. The children really valued the chance to learn about farming and the natural world and many told us it helped raise important discussions around issues such as diets, sustainability, food security, climate change and future careers. Last year, we saw 3,839 resource downloads and over 100, 000 video views – we hope to see many more people take part this year.
“Farming Fortnight builds on our ongoing work with 12 to 18-year olds and specifically the research we commissioned in 2018 looking at young people’s attitudes to farming. What it showed is that young people want to know more about where their food comes from, how it is produced and the science behind it, they just lack the right information. Furthermore, nearly a third of the young people we spoke to told us they would be interested in a career in the agriculture sector. There is a very real appetite for learning about farming.
“LEAF Education is all about driving education, engagement and enthusiasm for farming and the natural world. We know that building knowledge and providing stimulating learning experiences at an early age, plays an important part in driving healthier food choices, building a sense of their own responsibility in caring for the world around them and realising the role they have in championing a sustainable future for all. Farming Fortnight is a great way to inspire the consumers and decision makers of tomorrow and we look forward to many schools, parents and young people getting involved and enjoying our fantastic resources.”
This year’s Farming Fortnight is also being supported by farmer and television presenter, Adam Henson, who believes learning about farming is essential for children as it helps them build a greater understanding of the vital role farmers play in producing good quality food and managing our countryside. Adam said: “Now more than ever, it has never been so important to find innovative ways to make farming come alive in the curriculum and in the home-schooling environment. I am delighted to be involved in #FarmingFortnight and urge everyone to get involved and be part of inspiring young people about the world of farming. Each day has a new focus on a range of exciting things to see, do and learn. See you on #Oink!”
The Farming Fortnight resources were developed by staff and students at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College. Donna Ashlee, Assistant Principal added: “We are delighted to see Farming Fortnight back for another year! Our students were involved in the development of many of the resources, so they really ‘speak’ to young people. Our students’ ideas, enthusiasm and practical farming experiences on the school farm really shines through in all the learning materials. Having a dedicated two-week long focus on farming has real potential to inspire young minds, create opportunities and bring about real change to how future generations think about and engage in farming.”