Farmers in Yorkshire will be given an insight into the Year
of Food and Farming - which begins in September - at the region's
premier agricultural event next month.
Tony Cooke talking to visitors at his farm
during this month's Open Farm Sunday event
The Year of Food and Farming is a campaign to promote healthy
living to young people by giving them direct experience of the
countryside, farming and food. Plans include helping young people
to follow the story "from field to fork" by letting them
see life on a farm, experience what the countryside can offer and
learn more about environmental issues linked to food.
The preview takes place at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate
on Wednesday 11 July when farmers will be invited to hear from
the organisers as well as a farmer, teacher and student who have
seen at first hand the benefits that links between schools and
the countryside can bring.
The event has been organised by Framework for Change, the Yorkshire
and Humber region's umbrella organisation promoting an entrepreneurial,
dynamic and sustainable farming industry. Framework for Change
is based at the Great Yorkshire Showground and is managed by the
Yorkshire Agricultural Society and supported by the regional development
agency, Yorkshire Forward.
Farmer Tony Cooke, who is also the Programme Director of the Year
of Food and Farming, is a firm believer in the need for children
to grow up knowing more about farming and its contribution to lifestyle
and the economy.
He said: "Although the Year of Food and Farming does not officially
begin until September, we felt it was important to help farmers
to understand its objectives as soon as possible so this preview
event will underline how Framework for Change sees the Year working
on a regional basis."
Mr Cooke pointed to recent research carried out by Childwise on
behalf of Farming and Countryside Education which revealed that
the majority of 11-16-year-olds surveyed were knowledgeable about
food and preferred their meat and vegetables to be British, with
72 per cent citing "freshness" as the main advantage.
But the same research also showed that more than a quarter of children
didn't visit the countryside and that there was concern, particularly
among girls, about animal welfare.
He said: "There is no doubt that the level of knowledge about
food in particular has improved but there is still a long way to
go in ensuring that young people know how the food they eat is
produced. The Year of Food and Farming will help to make strides
in the right direction."
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