The views of professionals working in both education and agriculture are being sought by a Harper Adams University student seeking to identify ways to deliver farm education to all.
Elsa Amiss, 22, is undertaking an honours research project entitled “A Framework For the Provision of Quality Farm Education and Engagement for Children and Adults” as part of her final year BSc (Hons) Agriculture studies.
“Food and farming are central to wellbeing, health, and caring for the environment around us,” explains Elsa, who grew up on the most southerly farm on mainland UK at The Lizard Point, Cornwall. “The chance to visit a farm should be available for every child.
“My research will identify the barriers that teachers and farmers face and will find some solutions so that the farming industry can offer the opportunity for every child to experience farming first hand.
Elsa’s home farm is a mixed beef, sheep, and arable enterprise, with a number of farm diversifications, including tearooms and the provision of school visits.
“I have been involved with providing many school visits, and have seen first-hand how farms inspire children of all ages. I have also seen that many teachers find it difficult to access farm visits. The future of farming relies on being able to connect and inspire our customers and the next generation.
Elsa is keen for education and agricultural professionals to complete her survey, which closes on February 19th, and will be conducting interviews with some of the survey participants. She also hopes to carry out fun farm visits, to be evaluated by parents and teachers, but these might have to be online sessions due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Elsa adds: “I came to Harper Adams because I have always wanted to be a farmer, and felt that Harper would allow me to learn about the many aspects of the UK and global agricultural industry and to gain a variety of technical and practical skills.
“The only negative about Harper is its distance from the coast, especially for someone that’s used to being surrounded on three sides by the sea!”