Hampshire Secondary School PUPILS were inspired by farming when they found themselves stuck on a working farm.
Hampshire’s first #FarmMyFood Day took place on June 30.
It was organized by LEAF in partnership with Hampshire Fare, the county food group, and Wheatsheaf Farming.
Cllr Roz Chadd, Deputy Chief and Senior Executive Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, opened the day.
She said: “Today is an inspiring way to learn about the rural environment around us, how our food is produced, where our food comes from and the importance of agriculture.
“Coming back to the ground, back to the land, back to the heritage, even if just for a day, can move the conversation forward about how the land provides the food on our table, and we hope that today Today instills an awareness and curiosity about the breeding process.”
Over 150 pupils attended from area secondary schools including: Testbourne Community School in Whitchurch, John Hanson Community School, Andover; The Costello School, Basingstoke; and Langtree School, near Reading.
Tracy Nash, Commercial Director at Hampshire Fare, said: ‘It was so exciting to see the students enjoying the day, it makes all the planning interesting. Days like this are needed to help the next generation understand the food and agricultural industries. They toured the farm, learned about business and nutrition, and tasted products they had never tried before, like Laverstoke Buffalo Mozzarella.
#FarmMyFood Day was organized by Wheatsheaf Farming, winner of the 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Award, at Folly Farm, North Waltham.
Kate Baylis from Wheatsheaf Farming, who has also been a food technology teacher for over 20 years, said: “The best way to teach kids is to take them out and show them. We regularly receive primary school students, but this is the first time that we welcome secondary school students.
Samantha Plunkett, teacher of food preparation and nutrition at Testbourne Community School, said: ‘So much effort went into the day. It was nice to see how committed the organizers and producers are, and how enthusiastic and interested the students are. These are things our students aren’t normally exposed to as there aren’t many opportunities to go on field trips – that’s quite exceptional.
The day included tractor tours, a food hall of local produce, and business centers with topical talks.
Rory Mulholland, senior butcher at Owton’s Family Butchers, was impressed with student interest.
The students also enjoyed the food preparation workshops given by Paul Dickinson, Director of Food at Fuller’s, who is the founder of Fullers’ Chefs’ Guild, which has a training kitchen at Laverstoke Park Farm.
Carl Edwards, director education & public engagement, LEAF, said: “It’s about challenging stereotypes and showing how farming involves skills like data analysis, it’s not just about growing crops for feed the nation.”
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