Colleagues from Bayer took part in a countryside education day event hosted by the Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) which invited 1,500 children and 174 teachers from 64 schools across the Scottish borders to its agricultural show ground in Kelso.
As one of the four sponsors we were keen to ensure that children left the day enthused by agriculture with an awareness of the importance of crop protection in feeding the world as the population continues to grow, and also the opportunities that the food and agricultural sector offers.
Bayer set up a stall representing the crop protection role within a crop production chain. Classes started at one end of a line of machinery and stalls looking first at drilling and planting seeds and proceeded to walk down the line stopping at our stall before having a look at the sprayers and hay bailing at the end.
Given it was the first time we had a presence at the country education day a lot of the ideas we had were tested for the first time and required a lot of re-adjusting as the day went on. The sheer enthusiasm from the children was present throughout – in particular with the gory photos of pests and diseases infesting the arable crops presented by on of our Commercial Technical Managers Sean MacGill!
Whilst the children were an important part of the day, perhaps one of the greater focuses were the teachers. Teachers are hugely influential in shaping the future farmers and employees of the food and agricultural industry. This is why our fourth Promise of our CRop Science brand in the UK holds agricultural education and training of future farmers so highly up alongside our commitment to R&D and support of British and Irish farming. At the end of the day, teachers received a support pack including literature on pollinators, crop protection and food security and a USB stick containing a powerpoint and infographic that points towards learning resources and lesson plans to be used inside and outside the classroom.
Overall, the day was a huge success - and more than anything thoroughly enjoyable! We loved being a part of an educational day that is regarded as a key event on the BUAS calendar and in the local area, and we look forward to next year's event and all the inspirational opportunities for children and teachers that it brings.