Fun on the farm as thousands of Essex schoolchildren descend on showground
PUBLISHED: 17:18 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 05 June 2019
Vicky Holmes Photography
Three thousand schoolchildren from primary schools across Essex got to meet farmers from their county on a fun day out.
The beaming youngsters, aged eight to 11 and from 65 schools, were bussed in to Writtle University College showground at Chelmsford to take part in the 12th annual Essex Food & Farming Day.
The educational event, with a focus on fun learning, is organised by Essex Agricultural Society and financially supported by Essex County Council.
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Rosemary Padfield, who is stepping down after chairing the organising committee for the last 12 years, said the aim was to take the children on a journey charting how food is grown and made, with a series of 'zones' to guide them.
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"We need to make sure that the consumers of tomorrow appreciate where their food comes from. We are in a society where more and more people have their shopping delivered to their front door and don't even go to the supermarket any more," she said.
The farmers behind the event wanted the children to realise that the bread and cereals that they ate came from wheat grown in the fields of Essex, and that the farmers growing the crops care passionately about the countryside they are grown in, she added.
Delighted children got to pet milking cows, watch a combine harvester in action and talk to farmers about what they do. Exhibitors offered colourful displays and demonstrations, including hands-on activities such as taste-testing, wheat milling and bird and insect recognition games.
"Our aim is for the children to gain a greater understanding of how their food reaches the table and the work we as farmers do to protect and nurture the countryside," said Mrs Padfield.
"As the children pass through the five zones at this event, they can see the whole food cycle - from sowing the seed to the plants growing and their end use in food production."