Down on t’farm!

April 3, 2013

The outreach and educational work we do in the Dales means we have met children who don’t know what a potato is or have never seen a real cow or sheep. Shocking, but sadly it’s not that unusual. 

That’s one of the motivations behind our new project ‘Down on the Farm’ which is helping to forge better links between schools and farms. Working in partnership with Natural England ‘Down on the Farm’ encourages schools and farms to work together to organise educational farm visits for school children.  

As the proud owner of a two year old I’ve been on my fair share of farm visits, so I know what fascinating and inspiring places they can be for children and adults alike.

Farms are an excellent learning resource, as proved at a training event we recently held at Keasden Head Farm near Clapham. Uniting teachers and farmers in a recently built ‘farmyard’ classroom the event highlighted how farm visits are an exciting and effective way to support the National Curriculum. The day included a bumble bee race, making butter, clipping sheep’s toe nails, and grinding wheat.

'Down on the Farm' is a YDMT project helping to forge links between farms and schools

Jack Parkinson from Growing With Grace meets a young lamb at Keasden Head Farm at an event to forge links between farms and schools.

The project not only highlights the opportunities for school children and their teachers, but for farmers too. Tom Lord, a farmer at Lower Winskill attended the event and commented:

“It was great to see the range of useful resources available.  The event helped me to fully appreciate the potential for inviting school groups to visit my own farm.”

We’re all very excited about the future of the ‘Down on the Farm’ project. As YDMT’s Judy Rogers said:

“I hope that we will help pave the way for more schools to take advantage of the excellent educational resources that a farm visit can offer. It is so important that our children don’t lose track of the connection between farming and the food we eat. A farm visit can provide a memorable and stimulating way for young people to learn about these issues and may play a role in inspiring families to buy local food produce.”