This week’s column is by NFU Cymru Assistant Policy Adviser Lowri Morris.

NFU Cymru staff and members have recently taken part in the Farmers for Schools training, which was held on the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd. The training was organised by the NFU Education team who are expanding the NFU’s award-winning education portfolio by launching this new programme, specifically focused on growing the understanding of British food and farming within secondary schools.

As part of the programme farmers, growers and NFU and NFU Cymru staff have been trained to speak to teenagers about the people who produce their food and the realities and career opportunities of modern farming in the UK. NFU Cymru Next Generation Group members and the NFU Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme members were also in attendance.

It was excellent to see how enthusiastic everyone was to learn more about how to present to schools. We have just welcomed our third intake of the NFU Cymru Next Generation Group, which was set up to encourage younger members of the farming community to have their say on the future of Welsh farming, so it was great to be able to incorporate both groups to help teach the younger generation.

The Farmers for Schools programme will build on the NFU’s work in primary schools with the hugely successful Farmvention challenge and Farming STEMterprise project, using farmer ambassadors to provide the country’s teenagers with first-hand experiences about how their food is produced and the varied career opportunities within farming.

We want to inspire teenagers across the country to think more about farming, and we asked farmers and growers to help bring to life how farmers produce their food and look after the environment.

I truly believe that children need to learn where their food comes from, and who is better to explain this than the farmers and growers producing it? I’ve done school events in the past and have been concerned by how removed students are from the way food is produced and its role in nature.

The Farmers for Schools programme is so important in bridging this knowledge gap.

TV programmes have got people thinking and understanding more about agriculture, and now is the time to build on that and teach the next generation of workers and consumers about British food and farming.

This is an exciting programme that will give farmers the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and expertise to the next generation, as well as talking about farming’s vital role in producing food for the nation and the role it plays in caring for the environment. For more information about Farmers for Schools and the union’s other education work, please visit the NFU Education website.