Sir Don Curry, Chairman of the National Sustainable Farming and Food Delivery Group visited Kent on the 4th October 2007 as part of his annual regional visits to find out how Sustainable Farming and Food is being promoted locally. Sir Don met Kent leaders and representatives from local rural businesses. He also heard from Sector Champions leading on projects such as bio-fuels, biomass, equestrian land management and precision farming techniques.
Ashford students from The North School took the opportunity to showcase their school farm produce within Kent County Council, and presented Sir Don with a cake displaying The Year of Food and Farming logo. The pupils gave a presentation on their School Community Farm to Sir Don Curry and members of the South East Sustainable Farming and Food Board, backed by their teachers, Simon Dove and Sally Coller.
The North School Community Farm was established in 1936 and provides its pupils and other local schools with the opportunity to have hands-on experience of knowing where their food comes from. Many children do not often get the chance to visit the countryside, let alone a farm, so The North School Community Farm is a huge asset to the school and the local community.
Martin Lowry Chair of the Year of Food and Farming Working Group in the South East region, commented: "The North School Community Farm is a great example of what the Year of Food and Farming is all about - transforming the way food and farming is viewed in and out of the classroom and giving children real life experiences they will never forget. This is especially important as we know that 46% of 7-11 year olds have no involvement with growing food. I would like to encourage everyone to get involved so that we can begin to re-connect children with the countryside through first-hand experiences, whether that's a farm visit or learning to cook something in the classroom."
Anyone wanting to get involved with the Year of Food and Farming should log on to http://www.yearoffoodandfarming.org.uk for inspiration. The site displays hundreds of events and activities on an interactive Megamap, allowing teachers to track down local initiatives and see what other schools, groups and organisations have been up to.