With 200 schools ready and waiting to be matched, the team behind the Farmer Time initiative are urging farmers across the country to sign up and help link farms to schools via digital channels. Charlotte Cunningham reports.

Since its launch in 2017, the campaign has already matched over 600 schools and farms, reaching nearly 16,000 children and doubling in numbers from the previous academic year.

It’s highly rated within the farming community too. The annual Farmer Time Impact Report for 2020 revealed that 100% of farmers enjoyed the experience, 96% will be continuing with Farmer Time and 71% spoke to children about careers in farming.

“Engaging with schoolchildren has never been more important after this challenging year and we are particularly delighted to have so many schools signed up, says Carl Edwards, director of education and public engagement at LEAF Education. “We’ve already seen the incredible impact Farmer Time is having on educating, inspiring and engaging children with farming, how their food is grown and where it comes from.

“Not only do each and every one of our participating farmers enjoy this initiative, it’s immensely rewarding in the impact it has on schoolchildren and it has been specifically designed to take up as little time as possible from busy farm life. We encourage farmers across the country to sign up and help children to broaden their horizons after such a constrained time during the pandemic.”

Farmer Time, which is sponsored by Sainsbury’s, Strutt & Parker and G’s Fresh, enables pupils to regularly chat live with their matched farmer from their classrooms through a video call platform, such as FaceTime or Zoom.

If you would like to take part in this free initiative, visit www.farmertime.org to register your interest.