Schoolchildren on farm© Rex

Thousands of schoolchildren are set to descend on the Suffolk showground to learn more about food, farming and the countryside.

The Suffolk Agricultural Association is celebrating the 15th year of the School Farm and Country Fair at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on 23 April.

See also: Farm education award winners announced

A record number of 4,500, seven- to nine-year-old pupils will attend this year’s showcase – with the event oversubscribed by 2,000 places.

Children attending the day will be able to grind grains of rapeseed to produce oil and wheat to make flour, as well as discovering how vegetables grow.

Alongside traditional activities such as sausage-making, a Modern Farming Zone will showcase the effects of developments in technology in farming over the years.

School fair chairman John Taylor described the day as an opportunity to show the next generation the importance and significance of food and farming.

“Our task is to help them learn so they are equipped to make key decisions about food, health, nutrition and even their future careers.”
John Taylor, School Farm and Country Fair

“Our task is to help them learn so they are equipped to make key decisions about food, health, nutrition and even their future careers,” said Mr Taylor.

“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.”

A state-of-the-art combine harvester will be moving across the field, with an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone in action detecting weeds and crop ravaged areas.

A “driverless” tractor that moves using GPS technology will also be present along with a fertiliser spreader, sugar beet harvester and forager.

Local agricultural businesses and charities provide each visiting school with a grant towards their transport costs so more children have an opportunity to attend.

Suffolk emergency services will be represented by the Suffolk Constabulary and East Anglian Air Ambulance, who will be demonstrating how they work in rural communities.