The Farmer Time team is calling on more growers to get involved, to inspire future generations about farming, food production and the environment.
This announcement follows the launch of the latest Farmer Time Impacts Report, which reveals – since the initiative began in 2016 – it has connected 742 teachers (over 22,500 children) with farmers. Farmer Time allows pupils to gain a real time, year-round understanding of farming and the food supply chain. Such is its growing success that over 230 teachers, representing nearly 7,000 children are now waiting to be paired with farmers.
Farmer Time has been pioneering a new approach to agricultural education for more than four years by bringing farming directly into classrooms through live video calls. The initiative has also seen a rapid global expansion with international partners in Sweden, Finland, the Republic of Ireland and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.
Director of LEAF Education and Public Engagement, Carl Edwards said:
“It is never too early to start talking to children about farming, to spark their interest, to ignite their sense of wonder and to share the realities of how their food is produced. Farmer Time is transforming the way we connect our future generations with farming and empowering them to make responsible, healthy, sustainable food choices and opening their eyes to the many exciting career opportunities available in the land-based sector.
“Our latest impacts report shows the ever-increasing reach of Farmer Time with 100% of farmers and teachers telling us they enjoy the experience and would recommend it to others. But we urgently need more farmers to sign up. We have over 200 schools – that’s over 6,000 children – waiting to learn more about our industry! We are encouraging any farmer, who can spare twenty minutes a fortnight and has good internet connection, to be part of something truly amazing.”
Cambridgeshire farmer, Tom Martin, who founded Farmer Time, says farmers should give it a go:
“Farmer Time is a fantastic way to reach out to the consumers of tomorrow, to talk to them about what you do, how farming impacts their everyday lives and why it matters. Any farmer can take part – it doesn’t cost anything, just your time and willingness to reach out. Just talking to children, answering their questions and seeing their genuine interest in what farmers do is hugely rewarding. I would encourage anyone to just give it a go and enjoy it!”
Highlights from the Farmer Time 2021 Impacts Report include:
- 742 teacher and farmer pairings since Farmer Time began, involving 22,696 children, representing 43,596 learning hours
- 100% of farmers and teachers have enjoyed the Farmer Time experience
- 90% of farmers feel their paired class gained a better understanding of the food supply chain
- Nearly 80% of calls have covered science, the environment and animal welfare
- Over half of calls have discussed sustainability
The Farmer Time Impacts Report 2021 is available to download here.