LEAF Education member Westmorland County Agricultural Society holds a farm day for schools every other year. The event is held at Heaves Farm and is supported by large numbers of volunteers.
At every event our North West Consultant Katy Pallas is on hand to help and this year other members of the LEAF team were privileged to witness this special day. Carl Edwards, Janet Hickinbottom and our new North East consultant Sam Wyman joined 700 primary schoolchildren in experiencing a multitude of activities designed to help foster an understanding of farming today.
As a result of meticulous planning and years of experience, a detailed programme enabled visitors to see a sheepdog in action; sheep shearing; calf feeding (and the sight of a newly born calf taking her first steps); Percy the robotic silage feeder; a variety of grains and their uses; chicks and an egg sorting machine; large shiny tractors; baby piglets; spinning and weaving – and the chance to have a go at knitting; an opportunity to deliver a lamb using a simulator; dry stone walling; and much more. At each station the children not only received information from experts but were also able to get hands on with many activities and to ask questions.
This was an exemplary day – repeated two days later. Other members could take ideas from this, starting on a smaller scale if new to school visits or smaller visits. We are assured the effort expended by the organisers and volunteers is far outweighed by the positive feedback from teachers and children alike.