The Facetime a Farmer initiative continues to go from strength-to-strength, with the number of schools and farms paired rising from 170 to 300 in less than a year, according to latest figures.
Strutt & Parker, as part of the BNP Paribas Group, is proud to sponsor the project, which allows children to see beyond the farmgate and develop an understanding of where their food comes from using the power of digital technology.
The initiative, which was the brainchild of Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Martin, matches volunteer farmers with a school to allow children to regularly chat to the farmer live from their classrooms through fortnightly video calls.
It is an opportunity to inspire, engage and educate young people about food production and the diversity of the agricultural industry.
LEAF Education, which coordinates the project, has published a 2019 impact report which estimates that with 300 schools now taking part there will be about 9,000 children benefitting from the programme.
The results are universally positive. Teachers who have signed up to take part report that they can use the calls to create curriculum learning experiences in the classroom.
Meanwhile, the farmers who the schools are paired with say they enjoy the experience and are pleased to be able to offer a window in to a world that many children would not otherwise get.
The initiative is also generating international interest, with pilots being rolled out in Sweden and Ireland.
Strutt & Parker believes the project has an important role in helping to address the disconnect between agriculture and an increasingly urbanised population’s knowledge of the industry and the crucial role it plays in producing food, managing the countryside and supporting local communities.