Suffolk Show Countdown: Showcase farm event to host record pupil numbers this year
- Credit: Archant
A record number of schoolchildren are set to descend on the home of the Suffolk Show later this month for an annual event aimed at showing them where their food comes from.
Around 4,500 seven to nine-year-olds from 91 primary schools will be taking part in the School Farm and Country Fair which takes place on Thursday, April 23.
Show organiser the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) is celebrating the 15th year of the farming showcase at which children learn about food, farming and the countryside and how it affects their everyday lives.
A new layout, successfully piloted last year, has made the event more compact, cutting the journey between each of the newly-created nine zones, and allowing more time for hands-on activities in each area.
New exhibits for 2015 include shellfish growers and producers Simpers of Suffolk, which is based on the River Deben, and Guy Foskett will explain how trees grow and what they are used for. Fairking Ltd, which grows unusual crops for the cosmetic and food market, will also be there for the first time.
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Children will be able to grind grains of rapeseed to produce oil and wheat to make flour, discover how vegetables grow in the ground, how they taste when raw and then cook them up into tasty dishes. They will be able to make sausages, watch horses being shod, enjoy the fun ‘Carrot Story’ show, learn the value of recycling and watch as sugar beet turns into powder to make icing. They will have the opportunity to stroke animals, meet the new Guernsey calf, hold tiny chicks and ducks and see fleece skilfully shorn from sheep.
The Modern Farming Zone will showcase the effects of developments in technology in farming over the years. A state-of-the-art combine harvester will be moving across the field, and an AgriFly drone will be in action detecting weeds and crop ravaged areas. A ‘driverless’ tractor that moves using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology will also be present along with a fertiliser spreader, sugar beet harvester and forager. Suffolk emergency services will also be represented by the Suffolk Constabulary and East Anglian Air Ambulance who will be demonstrating how they work in rural communities.
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“It’s a great day for us to help children understand the importance and significance of food and farming, how it affects their lives and why we farm as we do, as well as all the other areas that agriculture impacts on,” said event chairman John Taylor.
“Our task is to help them learn so they are equipped to make key decisions about food, health, nutrition and even their future careers. We have simplified the messages, by linking key areas and exhibitors together so if a school is working on projects in specific areas they can visit that zone and find all the relevant people to talk to and look at it in a bit more depth.” Principal sponsors are Chadacre Agricultural Trust, Felix Cobbold Trust, Morley Agricultural Foundation and EDGE. New sponsors for 2015 include Geoffrey Mayhew Farms, Dow AgroSciences, Thurlow Nunn Standen and R.J. Nunn and Sons. The SAA provides each of the schools with a grant towards their transport costs.
The Suffolk Show takes place on May 27 and 28. For the latest news and to buy discounted tickets, visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk.