The Bath & West Showground was once again a hub of fun and learning as 1,200 key stage two schoolchildren visited on Wednesday 18 April for the third annual Field to Food Learning Day.
Pupils from primary schools across the West Country enjoyed a hands-on insight of farming and food production; meeting farmers and their livestock, getting up close to farm machinery, trying their hand at butter making with Wyke Farms, putting sheep through an m.o.t with Shepton Vets, milking the Hurdlebrook Guernseys, along with a host of other interactive exhibits.
Delivered as part of The Royal Bath & West of England Society’s charitable objectives, Field to Food was created to educate young people about farming and food production in engaging ways, and was devised in collaboration with educational specialists to ensure that it satisfies aspects of the National Curriculum. The activities on offer were designed to illustrate how the food and drink that they consume arrives on their table. All the activities were specifically aimed at children aged 7 -11, offering a variety of hands, eyes, ears and noses-on learning.
Mole Valley Farmers brought a range of agri-technology appliances for the children to check out, from cattle handling systems to EID devices.
‘We’re delighted to support the Field to Food initiative’ said Mark Cox of Mole Valley Farmers
‘We have a responsibility to make sure that the next generation has an understanding and appreciation of farming and food production, and this event provides the perfect vehicle to do just that’
Mark’s colleague, Richard Griffiths added, ‘Today was a real success! The children were all so enthusiastic and responsive to the activities. It was a pleasure to be involved in such a successful event.’
The year 5 & 6 children from Farrington Gurney C of E Primary were buzzing following their day at the Bath & West, ‘It was such a fun experience! We loved that we could get our hands on the activities.’
‘The steward that guided us around was so helpful’
‘Our favourite things were the sheep shearing, lambs, and the huge machines!’
The Farrington Gurney pupils’ teacher, Miss Higgins was impressed by the level of organisation ‘For the children to get the most out of their day it’s so important that the event is well organised and Field to Food certainly was. It all ran so smoothly’
Rupert Cox, Chief Executive of The Royal Bath & West of England Society, emphasized the importance of illustrating the link between farming and food, and how the event has quickly become a crucial date in the Bath & West calendar,
‘The Field to Food education day has become an integral part of the Society’s work in informing and educating young consumers about where their food comes from and the hard work farmers do to make sure we eat the very best of British food. For the children to be able look, hear, smell and get their hands dirty must be the most effective way to learn. For our volunteer supporters that make the day happen it is also a great learning experience for them as they get to hear what the next generation of consumer thinks of farming and food.’