Kids get hands-on with pigs, peas, poultry and produce at Food & Farming Day

5,500 children from over 50 primary schools attended Kids Country Food & Farming Day, the educational food and farming event that showcases the journey from farm to fork. The aim of the event was to teach children about food provenance, and the importance of farming and the countryside through a host of hands-on, interactive activities and exhibitors.

The annual day, organised by the East of England Agricultural Society, saw the East of England Showground transformed into 11 interactive zones. Over 100 leading organisations from across the agricultural sector attended the event, including the sponsor The Tesco Eat Happy Project as well as Weetabix, New Holland, Billingsgate Seafood School, and Albert Bartlett, all of which recognised the importance of educating tomorrow’s AB7Y0406consumers. Over 100 volunteers also joined the team to make the event a day to remember.

Children got the chance to grind flour and cook bread rolls, milk goats and cows, take part in demonstration vet surgeries and team up with celebrity chef Rachel Green to make hummus in celebration of the International Year of Pulses. The Tesco Eat Happy Project teamed up with fruit supplier Berry Gardens to showcase the growing story of berries. They supplied 400 punnets of fruit and estimated 4000 strawberries were eaten on the day. There were also extensive displays of farm machinery, and livestock including cattle, sheep, donkeys, poultry, pigs and even ostriches; tractor and trailer rides; and demonstrations including sheep shearing, ferrets, horses and hounds, and gundogs.

Children from Ravensthorpe Primary School in Peterborough commented on the event: “It has been the best day ever!”, “I learnt that you have to grind flour to make bread, and farmers grow wheat in the fields and this goes into my breakfast. I also got to feed the animals and milk a cow!”.

The day included activities aimed at helping children understand the fabric that makes up the countryside, such as hands-on dry stone walling, thatching and willow weaving. In addition, there was the opportunity to explore an African Village, constructed by visiting Marshal Papworth students, which illustrated the differences in farming, food and lifestyle between the UK and African countries.

Commenting on the Food & Farming Event, Sandra Lauridsen, Education Manager at Kids Country, said: “Kids Country Food & Farming Day gives children an opportunity to really understand how the food they eat gets from the field to the fork. It is important we continue to build children’s knowledge of where their food comes from and develop their understanding of, and passion for rural life, farming and agriculture. The feedback we received from children and their teachers who attended the day was overwhelmingly positive.”

The event was sponsored by the Tesco Eat Happy Project, an education programme that is committed to improving children’s relationship with food. Caroline Silke, Head of Community at Tesco commented on their involvement: “Food and Farming Day is fundamental in helping us achieve our vision of giving children a better relationship with food. It goes hand in hand with Tesco’s Eat Happy initiative which is designed to fuel children’s interest in and understanding of where food comes from.”

For more information about the Kids Country Education Programme and Food & Farming Day visit http://www.eastofengland.org.uk/kids-country/.

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