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Students given taste of farming life at celebrated Suffolk schools event

PUBLISHED: 17:05 20 June 2018

Students from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer.
East Bergholt High School students sample the Hill Farm Rapeseed oil
PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Students from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer. East Bergholt High School students sample the Hill Farm Rapeseed oil PICTURE: Andy Abbott

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Organisers of a Suffolk farm event aimed at encouraging teenagers to consider a career in farming or learn more about agriculture are celebrating one of their best years yet.

Students from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer.
Hartismere School students with ducklings
PICTURE: Andy AbbottStudents from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer. Hartismere School students with ducklings PICTURE: Andy Abbott

More than 300 13- to 15-year-olds travelled from high schools as far away as Lowestoft and north Essex to attend the 10th Food and Farming Student Day at Hollow Trees Farm, at Semer, near Hadleigh.

Students enjoyed a range of agricultural workshops looking at everything from farm machinery and crop growing to how to diversify.

Through presentations and workshops from a range of volunteer farmers and sector organisations, they were shown the rich variety of work which goes on on and off farms.

The day, organised by the team at Hollow Trees, Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) and Easton and Otley College, and sponsored by the Chadacre Agricultural Trust, gives youngsters a chance to get some hands-on experience of farming life and gain a deeper understanding of how the food supply chain works.

Students from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer.
Up close to the livestock experience
PICTURE: Andy AbbottStudents from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer. Up close to the livestock experience PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Students from Claydon, Debenham, East Bergholt, Hadleigh, Hartismere, Holbrook, Kesgrave, Sir John Leman, St Helena, Stanway, Stowupland, Thomas Gainsborough and Westbourne high schools got to count grains using laser cameras, make sausages, and work out how much water goes into different items of food. A new Brown & Co land agents workshop gave students an insight into how to diversify their land.

“They had a really good time,” said Sally Bendall who runs the 140 acre Hollow Trees Farm business, which includes a farmshop/café, with husband Robert. “Thankfully this was the 10th dry year which is amazing - we have never had a wet year yet.”

Over the years, the workshops had developed to be more interactive as stewards become more seasoned at running them, she said, and some of the engagement was “exceptional”.

Suffolk Agricultural Association education projects lead Hannah Woods said it was particularly heartening that a number of students showed an active interest in taking up a career in agriculture.

Students from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer.

PICTURE: Andy AbbottStudents from across the County visit the Student day held at Hollow Trees, Semer. PICTURE: Andy Abbott

Easton and Otley College’s John Nice said it was a “great opportunity” to talk to students about job opportunities in the sector.

If you would like to take part in next year’s event, email hannah.woods@suffolkshow.co.uk

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