RHET Clyde has hosted farm visits for two local primary schools, as well as their annual Food & Farming Day event at the Lanark Agricultural Centre this month.
Thanks to the generosity of the Lanark Rotary for covering each school’s transport costs, Lanark Primary School visited Woodlands Farm, courtesy of Andrew Clarkson, and Braidwood Primary School visited Sandilands Farm, courtesy of Jimmy Warnock.
Joann Hansen of Braidwood Primary School said the visit was “Fantastic in every way. Truly enriching.”
In addition to farm visits, P6/7 classes from ten local schools descended on Lanark Agricultural Centre to attend RHET Clyde’s annual Food & Farming Day.
In cooperation with The Scottish Government, Lanark Agricultural Centre and members of the local agricultural community, RHET created the opportunity for pupils and their teachers to experience aspects of a working farm at the Centre. Many of RHET’s volunteers were involved in delivering the programme alongside the market staff.
The two-day event comprised several stations situated around the Lanark Agricultural Centre. Each station consisted of a range of activities and discussions exploring different types of farming and associated food products. Sessions were delivered about vegetables, beef, tractors, pigs, sheep, dairy and included a butchery demonstration.
Willie McCulloch, auctioneer at the market, was also on-hand to give an auctioneering demonstration where children participated in a mock auction for various lots.
Local councilors were invited to attend the event and to learn more about what RHET offers to schools in the area. Councilors who attended included Trevor Douglas (North Lanarkshire), Richard Lockhart, Alex Allison, Colin McGavigan and Mark Horsham (all South Lanarkshire).
Richard Lockhart (Clydesdale North) said, “‘The disconnect between town and country is considerable these days and any exposure to the real world of food / supplies / the rural environment will sow little seeds in a lot of young minds at an early age.”
Food & Farming Days like this are an annual event coordinated by RHET in each of their Countryside Initiative areas across the country. Their primary objective is to provide an experience for pupils by exposing them to elements of local farming and food production.
The Scottish Government’s continued support and funding for these events are integral to their success. The generosity of Lanark Agricultural Centre is also very much appreciated by RHET, and that from Lanark & District Rotary and Round Table who donate towards bus funding for local schools.