Farming lesson

by Anne Birkett, FUW press officer

WHERE does our food come from and could farming be a career? Those were some of the questions put to primary school children in Glamorgan.

Providing answers to those questions were FUW members, Nicola and Tom Lewis of Neuadd Wen Farm, Llanharan, Pontyclun, who joined Year 1 to Year 3 pupils at Llansannor and Llanharry Church in Wales Primary School, as part of their careers day.

FUW Glamorgan CEO Rachel Saunders said: “Nicola and Tom did a great job engaging the children and talked about where all our food comes from. The kids were extremely interested and were all answering questions as well as asking lots of relevant questions too.

“It’s really important that we teach our children where their food comes from. It was shocking to hear that, according to a recent survey by the British Nutrition Foundation, many children think that cheese comes from plants, tomatoes grow underground and fish fingers are made of chicken.”

Helping to show his fellow pupils how to feed lambs was seven year old Morgan Lewis, who with the help of his parents, Nicola and Tom, brought in his pet lambs ‐ Amy and Millie. Children at the school also got the chance to milk a real‐life sized wooden cow, which was provided by TŷTangylwyst Farm.

TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION: The school children listen carefully to where their food comes from.

Tom, who aside from running the home farm with wife Nicola, also works part time as an agricultural engineer for Riverlea tractors, said: “We had a great day at the school and really enjoyed showing the children as much as we could about farming. Working in agriculture can be an exciting career choice, offering a huge variety of opportunities for highly skilled and ambitious people. I am concerned that not enough is being done in schools or by careers advisers to promote careers and opportunities in the sector.

“Agriculture is a global industry that uses cutting‐edge technology, innovates constantly and makes important contributions to the national economy. In Wales alone nearly 60,000 people are employed either full time or part time on farm holdings and the sector is also the cornerstone of the £6.1 Billion Welsh food and drink supply chain industry.”

Nicola, who also works part time for Bridgend’s rural development team, said: “Farming and agriculture has a lot to offer and of course, we need a next generation of farmers. Aside from educating our children about where their food comes from, we must also increase our efforts to change the perception of the sector. We need to attract new entrants, come up with solutions and provide assistance for young people to overcome barriers to the industry.”

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