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Open Farm School Days to bridge urban-rural divide

Initiative aims to show children where their food comes from.
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Open Farm Sunday this year celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 7
Open Farm Sunday this year celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 7

Bridging the gap between farming and the public is crucial if consumers are to place more value on their food, it has been claimed.


Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), the organisation behind Open Farm Sunday which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 7, is also spearheading Open Farm School Days, which takes place throughout June.


Farmers involved in the school days scheme believe getting children on farm is vital if there is to greater public understanding of the industry.


Nick Bragg, who farms in Somerset with wife Claire and has a mixture of arable production, broiler sheds and an anaerobic digestion plant, welcomed almost a thousand children on to his farm across the 2013 and 2014 school events.


He said: "I appreciate it can be difficult for farmers to do this type of thing but it needs to be done because there is a huge void between farming and the public and that affects people’s understanding of where their food comes from.


"We were actively looking to engage with the public when the chance to do this came up so we needed little persuading."


With demonstrations showing which crops go in to different types of food, Mr Bragg said they had prompted positive engagement with youngsters about farming.



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