Hundreds of key stage two schoolchildren descended upon the Bath & West Showground on Wednesday 22 March 2017 for the second annual Field to Food Learning Day; providing children and teachers an up close, hands-on experience of farming and food production.
Created with the purpose of educating and informing young people about agriculture in engaging, interactive ways, the event has evolved from The Royal Bath & West of England Society’s founding principles.
Delivered as part of the Society’s charitable objectives, Field to Food has been devised in collaboration with educational specialists to ensure that it satisfies aspects of the National Curriculum, as well as being enormous fun for all involved!
The children were invited from schools from across the West Country, with the various activities on offer giving them a better idea of how the food and drink that they consume arrives on their table. All the activities were specifically designed for children aged 7 -11, offering a variety of hands, eyes, ears and noses-on learning; ranging from farm machinery and cow milking to bread making and butchery.
Independent cheese maker Wyke Farms offered children the chance to make butter and sample a range of their award-winning cheeses. “What a brilliant day!” said Debbie Fewell of Wyke. “The children were so enthusiastic, getting stuck into the butter making activity, asking really perceptive questions and clearly taking it all on board. The layout worked well with the children taking a logical journey from field to food via the various activities.”
“We came last year and couldn’t wait to come again!” said Kate Hayes of Shepton Vets who were running a Sheep M.O.T. “We loved the interaction with the children who showed keen interest in everything we were saying and showing them. It was a genuine hands-on experience as they could listen to the sheep’s heartbeats with stethoscopes, check their teeth and assess their general condition.”
It wasn’t just the children learning and having fun though as Cameley Primary School teacher Mrs. Tanner noted “Field to Food was such a fun, informative day. The interactivity of the event really engaged the children…and the teachers! It was all delivered in such an enthusiastic way by the farming community, and that goes a long way in helping the children’s learning – what great role models for the children, in fact they’re already talking about their future careers in farming!”
None of this would have been possible without the superb support of the 120 plus volunteers whose dedication enabled the event to be realised in such fantastic fashion.
“We are delighted to run this event again after the success of the 2016 event” said Head of Shows, Alan Lyons. “A huge thanks to all stewards and exhibitors who have given their time to meet the Schools”.