A high-profile farmer and prospective Conservative MP would like to see agricultural colleges given targets for student intakes from big towns and cities.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, who sells food under the brand name The Black Farmer and will be standing for the Tories in a Wiltshire seat at the general election, reckons the move would help bridge the urban-rural gap.
“One of the problems we have is a divided Britain, with not enough integration between urban and rural. We need to get more urbanites involved in rural professions.”
A target system would foster understanding and bring new ideas and new blood into the countryside, says Mr Emmanuel-Jones.
Attitudes to farming and food need to be more integrated into the education system across the board, he says. “It’s a travesty that in 2009 a large number of young people have no idea where there food is produced or where it comes from.”
More colleges should also run taster courses to highlight some of the opportunities in the land-based sector, and every child should also get the chance to visit a farm once while they’re at school, he adds.
Read more on Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones and find out about his new cookery book on Tim Relf’s blog.