LEAF Education has released the first Farmer Time (formerly known as FaceTime a Farmer) Impacts Report. The report shares the achievements of the initiative, which links farms to schools via digital channels.
Since its inception in 2018, the initiative has gathered momentum and popularity, resulting in 437 teacher and farmer pairings across the UK. It enables pupils to regularly chat live to their matched farmer from their classrooms through FaceTime or Skype.
Last year, 9,000 children took part in the video sessions representing 10,800 learning hours, with the average session lasting 18 minutes and a Farmer Time call taking place on a fortnightly basis. Pupils have been able to see beyond the farm gate from the comfort of their classrooms and develop an understanding of where the food on their plate comes from.
Not only is participation in the initiative increasing, the 300 schools and farmers already paired reported a 100% commitment to continuing to support the scheme during the next academic year. The campaign scored a 100% success rate in other aspects too, with 100% of teachers recommending Farmer Time to other teachers; believing children involved have a better understanding of the food supply chain; and using the calls to create curriculum learning opportunities in the classroom. Meanwhile, every farmer who has connected to a class is enjoying the experience and 80% have focused on the food supply chain in their calls.
Carl Edwards, director of Education and Public Engagement at LEAF Education, comments: “We are delighted with the feedback we have received in the Impacts Report and would urge farmers and schools alike to participate in what has proved to be an enormously successful initiative. Children across the UK are benefiting by developing an understanding of where their food comes from while farmers are able to showcase the diversity of farming and the vital role it plays in putting food on our plates.”
Supported by Sainsbury’s, Strutt & Parker and G’s Naturally Fresh, Farmer Time is all about harnessing the power of digital communications to inspire, engage and educate young people about not only the journey from farm to fork but also the ever-changing, diverse agricultural industry.