Bayer Crop Science has started a £10,000 fund with the charity Farming and Countryside Education (Face) to help increase training opportunities for teachers wanting to work with farmers within the education system.
It could lead to more than 12,000 extra children having some food or farming content within their lesson plans and an extra 1,750 children taking a farm visit during their education.
Survey work carried out on behalf of both organisations has highlighted that more farmers would like to be involved in educational activities using their farms, but teachers often are unaware of the opportunities that farming can provide.
See also: Photos from Open Farm Sunday 2016
“Following attending a teacher training course, nine out of 10 teachers incorporate food and farming into their teaching, with 13% arranging a farm visit within three years of the course,” said Dan Corlett, chief executive of Face.
“It’s all about building confidence with the teachers.”
Highlighting the opportunities for teachers would have long-lasting benefits in making sure farming is part of a child’s education, added Michael Muncey, head of Bayer Crop Science in the UK.
“With the pace of technological change across farming, there will be great opportunities for the brightest minds in all sorts of disciplines.”
The fund will initially help train more than 150 teachers on farms across the country.
About 19% of farmers are already involved in hosting visits by schools, according to a survey of 1,279 farms for Bayer, with a further 17% interested in doing so, said Alice Turnbull, part of Bayer’s communications team.
“It shows there is a huge opportunity for more educational activities on farm, whether that is hosting school visits, or taking part in Open Farm Sunday or providing on-farm training for future farmers through work experience or apprenticeships.”