Farming feature: Suffolk Agricutlural Association puts a new spin on farming

Hannah Woods and Emma Haines with the model sheep.

Hannah Woods and Emma Haines with the model sheep. - Credit: Archant

This week’s Suffolk Agricultural Association column looks at how it is encouraging youngsters to look at farming life

THE Education team in conjunction with Cook with me Kids has launched a brand new competition for schools in the county.

Targeting Key Stage Two pupils, aged 7-11, the thinking behind the new initiative called Suffolk Farming School of the Year 2013, is to take one aspect of farming life and encourage pupils to discover how it impacts on every aspect of their lives.

The initial theme is sheep which is appropriate as the Rare Breeds Survival Trust celebrates its 45th anniversary.

Sheep not only have an important travel tourism aspect – there are 70,000 in Suffolk - but also are a constituent part of the management of the countryside and environmentally significant.

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They are an important part of the food chain and their wool is used in some of the finest fabrics and clothing. These are just some of the messages the children will hear.

The competition divides into three parts and will be judged at every round.

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First all schools must design and make a lifesize sheep sculpture to a maximum of 80cms high. This can be made from any materials, but should be waterproof, freestanding and ready for collection from April 22.The resource packs sent to schools contains ideas of basic materials to use, handy hints and tips.

Farming members of the Association will judge the best five entries and these schools will be invited to Trinity Park on May 10 for a day of fun, interactive workshops designed to enhance their knowledge of sheep.

During this time a points marking system will be in place and marks awarded for success in the various workshops.

Finally, two schools will be selected from the five to attend the Suffolk Show where they will go head to head in the Farminanglia area of the Show in a series of activities, one of them cooking with lamb, to be crowned with the title.

The award will be presented during the annual Agricultural Awards ceremony at Trinity Park in October.

Education Officer Hannah Woods said:” We were very excited when we met Emma Haines from “Cook with me Kids”, a local organisation that shares our passion for educating children about the origins of their food and how to enjoy creating proper healthy meals.

“We quickly realised our ideas and ways of working were compatible.

“This competition fits perfectly with the other initiatives we are undertaking with schools – the Potato Planting day held this week, the School Farm and Country Fair and the Food and Farming Student Day – as well as links with the Farminanglia theme of Sheep in all their forms at the Suffolk Show.”

Schools are eligible but any who have not received a pack should contact Hannah on 01473 707118 and there’s a reminder that all entry forms should be sent to the SAA at Trinity Park by Friday March 22, at the latest.

If your company is interested in getting involved through sponsorship in the SAA’s education programme call Hannah.

By reshaping various tradestand areas and creating more “village“style experiences throughout the site we have released additional space that has given us the opportunity for two new feature areas – Homes and Gardens and Made in Suffolk. This area is especially for local companies to showcase their non-food products and services, that are produced in Suffolk and Essex. It’s already filling up fast with a printer and author and hat hire company among others, so you’ll need to book fast!

Homes and Gardens showcases products linking the inside to the outside of your home, and items to enhance the leisure use of your home and is situated next to the Flower and Garden Experience – the biggest marquee on the for further details and to reserve stand space.

A reminder to all those intending to enter heavy horse, light horse, pony or driving classes at the Show that the closing date is March 22. Entry forms can be downloaded at

It’s only March but the roaring 20s will be hot this Christmas at Trinity Park

The “What the Dickens?” Christmas Parties were no bah humbug affair for Trinity Park Events Ltd, the commercial arm of the Association. The themed nights attracted more than 2000 guests in 2012.

New for 2013 we move on a few decades for the “Roaring 20s at the Trinity Park Speakeasy” themed evenings.

Catch the new Great Gatsby film out in Spring for inspiration. We’ll be practising the Charleston and giving prohibition the bootlegger!

Flap(per) along to for special early bird discounted reservations, available only until March 31.

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