Farmers who want to do their bit to promote British agriculture are encouraged to get involved in “FaceTime a Farmer” – a project teaching schoolchildren about farming, food and the environment.

The idea, started by Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Martin, involves using FaceTime or Skype to make short, regular video calls to a classroom of schoolchildren to feed their understanding and enthusiasm for agriculture and the countryside.

Following a successful pilot test with Mr Martin, the project is now backed by recently merged charities Linking Environment And Farming (Leaf) and Farming and Countryside Education (Face) to help get more farmers involved and team them with schools across the UK.

How FaceTime a Farmer works

  1. Email Farming and Countryside Education to register your interest.
  2. Once a school has been found to work with you, a designated teacher will email you a week before the planned video call to either provide questions from their students to answer or to discuss areas of teaching that might relate to food, farming or the environment.
  3. You will then be able to talk to the class over Skype or FaceTime at the arranged time, from any location on farm – a field, shed, tractor or the farm office, for example.
  4. Ideally, this would be a 10-20 minute call made as regularly as once a week – but this can be a flexible arrangement depending on your workload and the time of year.

The plan is to kickstart this initiative in the spring term of 2018. Once Leaf/Face confirm the details of interested schools, farmers and classes will be paired up to begin planning video calls.

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