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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Youngsters need to know 'chicken nuggets don't grow on trees' says farmer

PUBLISHED: 16:32 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:32 01 April 2019

Farmer Tom Martin who took part in the pilot for FaceTime a Farmer. Pic: LEAF.

Farmer Tom Martin who took part in the pilot for FaceTime a Farmer. Pic: LEAF.

More local farmers are being urged to get involved in a 'FaceTime' scheme educating school pupils on where the food they eat comes from.

Ian Collison, pictured right, took part in FaceTime a Farmer. Pic: Submitted.Ian Collison, pictured right, took part in FaceTime a Farmer. Pic: Submitted.

Ian Collison, who grows tulips for major brands like Sainsbury’s and M&S from his family-run cut flower business at Tuxhill Farm at Terrington St Clement, near King’s Lynn, is one of the farmers involved in the new initiative.

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“Youngsters need to know that chicken nuggets don’t grow on trees, we have a responsibility as farmers to do something about it and educate children because there are people who live in the centres of villages who’ve never set foot on a farm.

“So few people are employed on farms now whereas 50 years ago, everyone knew somebody so we need to bridge that gap. We need to speak to children through a medium they understand as they are the consumers and the employers of tomorrow.”

King's Lynn-based flower supplier Collinson & Son took part in the FaceTime a Farmer scheme. Ian Collison is pictured left with Diane Collison, David Hughes (Clydesdale Bank) and Philip Collison. Pic: Archant.King's Lynn-based flower supplier Collinson & Son took part in the FaceTime a Farmer scheme. Ian Collison is pictured left with Diane Collison, David Hughes (Clydesdale Bank) and Philip Collison. Pic: Archant.

Founded by farmer Tom Martin, co-ordinated by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), and sponsored by Sainsbury’s and Strutt & Parker, ‘FaceTime a Farmer’ pairs farmers with classes for a series of video calls throughout the year.

With nearly 150 school and farmer pairings already, 100% of farmer and student/teacher participants enjoyed the calls, and 100% of teachers said that their pupils/students were really engaged, and gained a better understanding of where their food came from, said LEAF.

Mr Collison told primary school children at Washingborough Academy in Lincolnshire all about growing tulips and even sent them some to grow themselves. He said they were ‘very knowledgeable.’

Other schools taking part include Neatherd High in Dereham which was paired with an arable farmer who told GCSE and key stage 3 students about growing potatoes.

Paul Taylor, the teacher in charge of food preparation and nutrition said: “They asked him about crop rotation and were also interested in how much he earned and what his day was like, the hours he worked and they were surprised at how long a farmer’s day can be.

“FaceTime a Farmer really put into practice what they were learning and ignited their thoughts and the whole ‘where does our food come from’ idea.” Mr Taylor said he was already arranging another session.

To get involved, either as a farmer or a school, click here

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