MORE than 1,500 children from 30 primary schools across the county got the chance to learn more about the best of Devon farms' produce, where it comes from, how it is made and its journey from “field to fork”.
This year marks 10 years since Farmwise, held at Westpoint, was first held and since then more than 40,000 children have taken part.
It is organised by Devon County Council, in partnership with Devon County Agricultural Association, Norse Group and Mole Valley Farmers.
This year the event was attended by DCC’s Chief Executive Donna Manson, Council Leader John Hart, Chair of the Council Percy Prowse as well as the Senior Leadership Team.
The event included local farmers, food producers and those from land-based industries from all over the county and was split into 12 sectors: vegetables, fruit, arable, forestry, environmental, food, wildlife, as well as dairy, sheep, poultry, beef and pigs.
Activities ranged from cooking, making flour and pizza, making rape oil, making flowerpots and planting seeds, and pressing apple juice through to dairy cows being milked and making butter from cows’ milk.
There were many animals and livestock for children to interact with including cows, pigs and sheep.
Other activities included delivering a lamb – which involved a sheep simulator and a cuddly toy covered in gloop, which the children pulled through the simulator, as if the sheep is giving birth, sausage making and apple picking.
There was also a chance to make wildflower “seed bombs” to take back to school and release them into the school grounds to encourage wildlife.
Councillor John Hart, the Leader of Devon County Council, said: “It is great fun, but it’s also important for children to have the chance to see, touch and smell the things that our farmers are producing.
“We want to educate, but we also want to inspire children to learn more and take an interest in where the food they see on their shelves at home, or in the shops and markets, comes from.
“We do this twice a year, as well as this event we go to the County Show. But some of our tenant farms also encourage school visits during the year to give children a chance to see for real the work that they do.”
Deborah Custance-Baker, Chair of Farmwise, said: “It’s wonderful to be back to our full capacity for Farmwise 2023.
“We had 1,500 children on site from a total of 30 schools across the county. We know that children are lucky enough to get to experience many days out, but this one always seems to be a firm favourite amongst pupils and teachers alike.
“It is wonderful for them to get up close and be able to feel so many different aspects of food production. The children have always got wide smiles on their faces as they get stuck into the activities, which means they’re not just learning about farming and rural life, they’re genuinely enjoying the experience, too. And that’s surely what successful learning is all about.”