Farmers and growers from across Britain are hoping to inspire and educate children about food and where it comes from as a part of a new #LockdownLearning project, which is being launched today.
The free, online resource comes as thousands of parents are now home-schooling their children due to the coronavirus.
The project, which was developed by the NFU and the team of farmers at EatFarmNow, provides exciting educational farming activities and videos for children while they are away from school, helping to build their knowledge of science and technology alongside learning all about food production.
Children will hear first-hand about how their food gets from farm to fork, with well-known farming faces such as Countryfile’s Adam Henson and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty documenting their farming journey through online videos and social media.
The project will focus on different themes over the next four weeks, starting with an Easter theme for over the Easter holiday and then focusing on horticulture, food and technology in agriculture. Educational resources designed by the NFU’s education team of former teachers will be available for parents to use, as well as activities from other educational farming programmes.
NFU President Minette Batters said: “This is an unprecedented time for all of us. Many parents are now having to come up with a home-schooling plan for the first time and we wanted to provide an educational project that was fun and exciting for both children and parents.
“Our online resources are all about hands-on, practical learning, using food and farming to help parents teach science, technology, engineering and maths, which are key topics in the national curriculum. A combination of videos, activities and challenges mean these resources have something for everyone.
“And with most children now learning from home, #LockdownLearning brings the world of food and farming, and the joy of being out on in the countryside, to their very own living rooms and kitchens and hopefully starts them on a journey where they recognise the importance of having a vibrant farming sector.”
EatFarmNow co-founder and farmer Will Evans said: “While the coronavirus occupies the headlines, our farmers are getting on with the day job, producing high quality food for us all. I hope that hearing from us first-hand will excite and inspire children, and using subjects like science and technology will help them to learn more about these important areas of the national curriculum via food and farming projects.
“In the coming weeks and months I encourage all farmers and growers to get involved and post their own videos on social media using the #LockdownLearning hashtag and to join this project which will help reconnect children with the great outdoors.”
People supporting the project and contributing vlogs and online content include:
- TV presenter and farmer Jimmy Doherty
- BBC Countryfile presenter and farmer Adam Henson
- Actor and comedian Charlie Baker
- Broadcast journalist Anna Jones
- TV presenter and horticulturist James Wong
- Author and sheep farmer James Rebanks
- Sheep farmer Hannah Jackson (known on social media as the Red Shepherdess)
- Arable farmer Tom Martin (known on social media as Farmer Tom)
- Dairy farmer and blogger James Robinson
- Farming is Magic film-maker Susie Emmett
- Scientist and STEM ambassador Dr Jenna Ross, CHAP agricultural innovation centre
- Barleylands farm park Education Manager Karen Watson
- Nutritionist Barbara Bray MBE
- Agritech robotics experts the Small Robot Company
- The Association for Science Education
- Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales
- Love British Food
- Farmers across the industry including Sarah Bell, Caroline Miller and Joe Stanley