Young pupils ‘milk cows’ in Yorkshire playgrounds

Pupils at Hambleton Primary School in Selby during their farmyard experience day.
Pupils at Hambleton Primary School in Selby during their farmyard experience day.
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Farmers provided a real farmyard experience to pupils in Selby and Hull as part of a series of school visits across Yorkshire and the North East to explain how the food on their dinner plates is made.

A total of more than 140 children took part by spending their mornings in temporary farmyard classrooms.

Children sat on bales of straw and met farmers and calves. They also had the opportunity to climb aboard a tractor and to try milking a cow, churning butter and grinding wheat into flour.

At the centre of the farmyard experience was the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU) Let’s Talk Farming Roadshow, with Annabelle the wooden cow aboard.

Roadshow manager Adam Jones focused on beef and sheep farming and alongside him, local farmers ran workshops on cereal and dairy farming featuring a big Red Tractor and two dairy calves.

The playground makeovers were organised by the NFU the Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) charity as part of efforts to address national research which shows young children often know very little about the origins of their food.

NFU regional director Adam Bedford said: “National research regularly highlights how little children often know about their food. So it really is very important to show them where it comes from and how it is produced – as well as emphasising the need to eat a range of different foods for a healthy, balanced diet.”

David Etheridge, regional education co-orindator at FACE, said: “We want children to be excited about their food and enjoy learning about food. Meeting farmers face-to-face is a key part of our workshops, so the children can ask their own questions, and hear first-hand about how are animals and crops are raised and processed.”

Four schools hosted the interactive and educational visits including two in Yorkshire: Hambleton Primary School in Selby and Longhill Primary School in Hull.