Farm leaders say the merger between two of the leading farming and food educational charities heralds a “new dawn” for teaching the public about agriculture.
Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) and Farming and Countryside Education (Face) said the two organisations would join forces from Friday (30 June).
The merger comes after another highly successful Leaf Open Farm Sunday, which saw 250,000 people visit farms across the UK on 11 June.
See also: Open Farm Sunday 2017 photos
Leaf said it is now looking to build on its position as a leader in public engagement in food, farming and the environment and maximise Face’s expertise in the education sector.
The newly expanded organisation said it will offer stakeholders and partners improved efficiencies, enhanced engagement.
It will also create even more opportunities for educating and engaging the public with food and farming.
Caroline Drummond will continue as chief executive of Leaf and a new director of education and public engagement will be appointed this summer to replace Dan Corlett, who is leaving Face to pursue another career.
Ms Drummond said the merger will deliver multiple benefits to partners and stakeholders and enable Leaf to further strengthen its public engagement activities and the vital work the Face team do in taking agriculture into schools.
She added: “I am looking forward to working with the new team to deliver an efficient and effective strategy, that will increase and improve the public’s education, understanding and appreciation of farming, food production and the environment.”
Ian Pigott, Face chairman and Farmers Weekly columnist, said: “Since the inception of Face in 2001, it has achieved outstanding results.
“Through the training of teachers and farmers, advising industry on the code of practice and leading the on-line resource portal ‘Countryside Classroom’, huge numbers of young people have benefitted.
“The opportunity to merge with Leaf heralds a new dawn for public engagement and education; we look forward to delivering even greater results for all involved in two of Britain’s proudest sectors, farming and education.”