LEAF Education and Llysfasi College in North Wales are running a ground-breaking national competition to connect teenagers with farming. The competition culminates in a final Prize Weekend, which takes place at Llysfasi College Farm from Friday 29th June until Sunday 1st July.
Five schools have beaten off stiff competition from schools across the UK to make it through to the Prize Weekend where they will take part in a series of engaging and educational farm-related activities. During the weekend, the five school teams – each consisting of a teacher and three students aged between 14 and 16 – will experience what it’s like to work on a farm, from sheep shearing and milking cows to riding quad bikes and tractors. They will also participate in a range of class-based educational activities, looking at the science and technology that’s so important to farming today.
The judging panel, featuring representatives from LEAF Education and Llysfasi College, will observe the finalists throughout the weekend, and award marks for enthusiasm, creativity and knowledge of farming. The winning school will be crowed Innovation School of the Year 2018 in Food, Farming and Environment.
The competition was developed by LEAF Education not only to reconnect teenagers with their food – where it comes from and how it gets to their plates – but also to enhance their understanding of how farming impacts on their lives and open their eyes to the many career opportunities available in the sector.
Carl Edwards, director of Education and Public Engagement at LEAF, said: “LEAF Education works across the farming, education and food sectors to inspire future generations about how their food is produced, where it comes from and how farming impacts on their daily lives and future food choices. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Llysfasi College on this ground-breaking national schools competition, which is reaching out to 14-16 year olds – an often hard to reach age-group. We have been overwhelmed by the interest from schools in this competition. By immersing teenagers and their teachers in a weekend of farm-related activities, we want to open young people’s minds to what farming delivers as well as raise awareness amongst teachers of how farming can be embedded into so many areas of the curriculum.”
Iain Clarke, head of College, Llysfasi added: “Our partnership with LEAF Education through this national schools competition represents a really powerful way to engage young people with farming and food production. We are really looking forward to welcoming the five finalists to Llysfasi College and hope the Prize Weekend will equip them with a greater appreciation of what farmers do, where their food comes from. We also hope it ignites their interest in the many exciting career opportunities there are in the agriculture sector and how Llysfasi College, part of Coleg Cambria, can help them achieve their future aspirations and highlight the wonderful opportunities in pursuing land-based subjects at their next stage.”
The five schools through to the LEAF Education competition final and taking part in the Prize Weekend are:
- Ripley St Thomas C of E Academy, Lancaster
- St Christopher’s Church of England High School, Accrington
- Priestlands School, Pennington, Lymington, Hampshire
- The Queen Elizabeth Academy, Atherstone
- Reddish Vale High School, Stockport