One NFU member's great idea has been turned into a reality with the production of the first ever Eggucation worksheets, resources to help children aged 8 to 12 better understand the layer industry.
The idea came about when NFU member Richard Pinfield, who has 32,000 barn layers and 24,000 free-range layers, volunteered to host a farm visit for Year 7 children at Bromsgrove School. Mr Pinfield contacted NFU chief poultry adviser Gary Ford to ask for support in the endeavour and the NFU Eggucation worksheets were the result.
Mr Pinfield said: "It was my daughter Amy who first got us involved, as the farm her year group were supposed to visit double booked school groups. She went straight to the teacher and invited the year group here.
"As part of their geography coursework, the classes are looking at the food and farming industry as well as its impact on the environment and where their food comes from. A lot of these kids come from much more urban areas and it’s good for them to see a side of agriculture that’s a bit different to a solely beef, sheep or arable enterprise."
NFU poultry adviser Aimee Mahony went along to the Pinfields’ farm on the second day of the school visit and said: "It was great to see a group of 11 year-olds get really engaged with farming. It was clear that looking at egg production was brand new territory for many of them and they asked a lot of insightful and interesting questions throughout the course of the morning."
The worksheets include questions about the laying capabilities of commercial hens, encourage children to look out for the Red Lion stamp and teach them about different laying systems.