Face­Time a Fish Farmer!

The FaceTime a Farmer initiative continues to grow not only in popularity but in variety too. During the summer term, Washingborough Academy in Lincoln was paired with Mowi, who work with the ocean to produce nutritious, delicious and supreme-quality seafood. They were keen to trial the FaceTime a Farmer project in order to show the pupils involved the complete supply chain from fish egg to finished product on the shelf. Jayne MacKay, from Mowi, coordinated and planned the calls, going above and beyond to show the pupils the fascinating journey from hatchery to the processing plant.

The first call took place at the hatchery with Ben Seaman, an expert in hatchery rearing, where the children were able to see the tanks from the viewing gallery and then take a closer look at the eggs. Jayne MacKay commented on the excellent questions asked by the pupils, making links to their mathematical skills to calculate costs and quantities.

Following on from the first call, Jayne then called the class from the different location of Loch Leven with Lewis Gibson, an experienced sea farmer. Not only did the children have the opportunity to learn about the next stage in the supply chain, they were able to see the mountainous landscape contrasting to their own in Lincolnshire. The call started at the shore-based feeding station. Jayne showed the children how the fish are health checked, introducing them to the concept of the use of Wrasse fish as a natural way of reducing parasites on the salmon.

The final call focused on the processing part of the business with Donald Maclsaac, processing manager, and Hamish MacDonald, product quality manager. As Washingborough Academy have a strong emphasis on food education, the children prepared a recipe to show Jayne using Sainsbury’s salmon and fresh vegetables grown at school. This tasting element alongside seeing the processing of the salmon gave the calls a relevant and memorable conclusion.

Jayne was thrilled with the success of her FaceTime a Farmer experience. She believes that, “not everybody is fortunate to live near a farm and this initiative gives children the opportunity to learn about where their food comes from.”

Further information about this initiative and how your school or farm can become involved can be found at www.leafuk. org/facetimeafarmer

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