The importance of agricultural societies engaging with schools and education about food and farming has been labelled ‘vital’ in order to encourage youngsters into the industry.
Delegates at an Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) national ’learning day’ at Staffordshire Showground discussed educational tips to help raise the profile of farming among youngsters after recent reports highlighted only 4 per cent of young people currently considered a career in agriculture.
In a bid to counteract the problem, speakers at the ASAO event encouraged the implementation of learning strategies through agricultural societies to unlock schools’ participation and engage the next generation of teachers.
Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) chairman Dan Corlett said: “Show societies are such an important vehicle for educating the public, including schoolchildren, about agriculture, food and careers in the countryside.
“Being able to share aspects of good practice, the challenges, and our ideas for the future was valuable for everyone, and I think everyone went away energised and looking at their education work afresh.”
ASAO has recently become a member of the Countryside Classroom Consortium, a FACE initiative to share its ‘passion for food, farming and the natural environment with teachers’.
Show manager Clare Farrell added: “Education plays a vital part in securing the future of agriculture and horticulture, and ultimately, agricultural shows.
“It is a fascinating industry which offers a host of careers in agronomy, research, logistics, policy advice and electrical engineering to name a few, yet recent surveys suggest only 4 per cent of young people consider a career in farming or food supply.”