Food & Drink

Hampshire’s second Farm My Food Day brings together hundreds more pupils and producers

Producers talking with students

The Worthy Earth team talk to students about organic and regenerative growing. All pictures: The Electric Eye Photography.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: July 6, 2023 | Updated: 5th July 2023

Farm My Food Day returned this year to help another cohort of local students get hands on with Hampshire’s busy food and drink scene and hear first-hand from the people behind it.

Producers talk with teachersIt followed a hugely successful inaugural event in 2022 hosted by Wheatsheaf Farming in partnership with LEAF and Hampshire Fare.

Together they invited 160 GCSE pupils from four local schools to come down to Folly Farm and explore the huge variety of career pathways available in the industry, as well as how sustainable farming practices are helping to keep the sector alive and thriving.

Jo Hatton, South East Regional Education Consultant at LEAF, said: “The feedback from teachers was really positive.

Darren Seward with students“They were grateful that so many local businesses had given up their time to give students a unique insight into the variety of opportunities within the farming and food and drink sectors.

“You can’t replicate this in the classroom in any other way that could get children so engaged and involved.

“It really opens their eyes.”

Producers from across the region provided workshops on nutrition and food preparation, as well as a business hub featuring a broad range of companies.

Students in outdoor classroomStudents were also given a tour of the farm, learning about everything from finance and sustainability to agricultural technologies – all presented as fun games and challenges to capture their imaginations.

Lis Hall, Business Studies Leader at The Costello School, said: “The students are talking more to people they don’t know than I have seen them do before.

“Speaking and building relationships is key – they’re engaged!

“This is real. You get a feel for the producers’ passions, struggles, and successes… and obviously the students have loved tasting the samples.”

Kate Baylis, Roz Chadd, Jo Hatton, and Tracy NashAlso in attendance was Tracy Nash, pictured furthest right, who recently announced her plans to retire from her post at Hampshire Fare and took the time to reflect on the past 10 years as Commercial Manager.

She added: “I didn’t think we could improve on the first year, but I can honestly say this year was even better with more producers and more content.

“Learning doesn’t get better than this. It’s a fantastic way to get students interested and inspired.”

The four schools at this year’s Farm My Food Day were Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School, The Costello School, and Dove House School Academy, all in Basingstoke, as well as Hanson Community School in Andover.

Southern Co-op and NFU Mutual supported the event and helped to fund free coach travel to and from the farm.

Group photo of all attendees


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