STUDENTS from across Devon got the chance to learn about farming at en event on Tuesday, October 10. 

At least 1,500 children had the chance to see where farm produce comes from, how it is made and the journey from 'field to fork'. There were animals for children to interact with during the day, including cows, pigs and sheep. 

The farmwise event, which has been running for ten years, was held at Westpoint Exeter and is organised by Devon County Council (DCC), in partnership with Devon County Agricultural Association, Norse Group and Mole Valley Farmers.

Farmers, food producers and those from land-based in industries in Devon attended Farmwise, which was split into 12 sections: vegetables; fruit; arable; forestry; environmental; food; wildlife; 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.

The students also got the chance to deliver a lamb - which involved a sheep simulator and a cuddly toy covered in 'goop' - as well as make sausages, wildflower seed bombs and pick apples. 

Deborah Custance-Baker, chair of Farmwise, said: “It’s wonderful to be back to our full capacity for Farmwise 2023. 

“We had 1500 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.”

The event was attended by DCC’s chief executive Donna Manson, council leader John Hart, chair of the council, Percy Prowse, as well as DCC's senior leadership team. 

South West Farmer: Senior leadership team at Devon County Council.

Cllr Hart added: “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.”