It’s been an amazing year! And I don’t mean the weather, as lovely as it was to have so much sunshine in the summer (though not so good for some farmers who waited and waited for rain).
It’s been amazing, because I found myself working in farming education once more, after a three-year hiatus. However, the big news, as I returned, was that Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) was no more and was now called LEAF Education after the recent merger.
I started again, part time, as Regional Consultant in March 2018, and two terms of frantic activity flew by to the summer break. It was lovely to hear so many positive stories of how Sam Summerfield increased the momentum of FACE work and developed new links and contacts.
I spent a lot of the two terms leading up to summer break at various events with baby chicks, educating children and young people about broiler production and the importance and successes of the Poultry Industry. Meeting some people involved in the industry has been very informative and there is much potential to communicate more about how chicken is produced.
It has also been great to catch up with familiar faces and a joy to meet new members of the team too.
Now as I look forward to things this term, it promises to be exciting and interesting. It is mainly a term of meeting student teachers either in university or on farm as we extol the virtues of food, farming and the countryside in the curriculum.
In the West Midlands it has been encouraging to develop the relationships with various universities, develop the learning programmes and keep things fresh. We have a clear set of aims and aspirations we are trying to work towards. As always, it has been very important to meet farmers and people in the farming industry, without whom this work will not succeed.
Another element that is still moving forward is working with the Chef on the Farm project, a partnership project with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chefs Adopt a School. We are planning some more sessions for spring and our partners are seeking funding to keep this going. It is very popular in the current climate where budgets are really tight for many schools.
Another new aspect of work I hope to keep going is my LEAF Education twitter feed; so do follow me if you want to stay abreast of my efforts for LEAF Education. @brianh_LEAF