From March 18th to April 8th 2022, secondary schools throughout mainland England and Wales can enter the competition. It means pupils between the ages 14 – 16 could win an action-packed weekend at agri Coleg Cambria Llysfasi in October of this year.
School heads and teachers are invited to submit an application here explaining why they feel their school deserves a place in the competition. This includes addressing topics such as agriculture’s role in climate change, why we should care where our food comes from, and the benefits young people would gain from experiencing farming first-hand.
The six schools lucky enough to reach the finals will earn a place at the college’s 970-acre farm for a weekend of fun and educational activities covering livestock, crops and forestry, as well as the chance to be crowned ’National Winner 2022’.
But before that, ten schools will have to compete via on-farm semi-finals with LEAF Regional Education Consultants. These regional days will be individual school class events held during this year’s Summer Term and promise to be equally fun-packed and educational.
At Bayer, we’re delighted to sponsor the event because we feel it is important to get more of the younger generation engaged with agriculture, a subject that may not get much ‘airtime’ through the National Curriculum.
“Many students have probably never had an ‘on-farm’ experience, so it will enable them to understand more about where the food on their fork comes from and the importance of sustainable farming. Hopefully, it will even encourage some to investigate career opportunities in the sector,” says Bayer project lead Bethany Leaver.
To help with this, Bayer will be sharing some of the latest agri technology with students in October. Bethany believes with digital tools like FieldView that it is an exciting time to seek a career in agriculture, and hopefully the competition will help students realise this too.
She also wants to encourage those from outside rural backgrounds to consider a career in the sector, because before working for an agricultural business, Bethany herself completed a Childhood Studies degree and was on track to be a primary school teacher. “Some from outside of agriculture have made a real success in the industry and we should encourage others to do the same,” she adds.
LEAF’s Education and Public Engagement Director, Carl Edwards, is keen to extend the reach of the competition. He sees Bayer’s involvement as invaluable here, but also for shaping the competition itself. "Our ten semi-finalists are likely to have limited understanding of our industry. The competition is open to all schools and each will qualify based on the ideas they present from their visit. Bayer’s industry expertise will help us develop novel approaches and activities that provide a very practical approach to understanding the science and technology that goes in to sustainable food production today."
“We’re also delighted that Jessica Langton, a Bayer apprentice, will be on-hand to assist and mentor students at the final. It is so important that young people get to talk to their peers to understand the many opportunities open to them in our sector,” he says.
Both Bayer and LEAF will be publishing this event by various means, so please help spread the word by sharing on social media or even talking to school heads or teachers directly.