Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What are farms for?

A schoolchild was asked during a lesson on agriculture, where fillet steak came from. 'The supermarket miss' he replied. Similarly, one of the top England football players was in New Zealand not so long ago, and he was informed by a waiter that bacon was not on the breakfast menu. He commented that he was unable to understand why given the enormous population of sheep.
Ignorance of the origin of our food is now greater than at any other time. More than half or England's teenagers were unable to complete a questionnaire, asking them for example, to identify the main ingredient of cheese, what wheat is used for, and whether potatoes where grown underground or in a tree.

Is the fault of our education system, bad parenting, or simply a modern day lack of interest toward things that are piled high in market stalls and shops in every main street?
In fairness to our schools, most children are taken on a farm visit at least once during their education.Indeed, even in the centres of our cities, children are never far away from a working farm which is open to the public. But it seems the message is not getting across.
Perhaps it doesn't matter. After all, how many people understand how their computer works or how a plane actually gets off the ground!
With the imports of cheap food from Europe, farms are going out of business at an alarming rate. Farmers are having to diversify and find new uses for their empty barns and cottages, with many being converted into holiday accommodation.
But I for one, enjoyed growing up in a farming community. I enjoyed chasing pigs around and shovelling cow poo! I was never in doubt where my dinner came from!


  1. Very nice pics. I love the little grey and white sheep nobody can say he/she is camera shy. I like your article as well very nicely done.

  2. Keith,

    you see a lot of that in the states too, I believe it is a combination of all the things you mentioned.

    I think all children should be raised on or near a farm to see what life is about. I was raised on a ranch, we chased pigs, had pet pigs (sally) and played with cows and had chickens and bailed hay and gathered pecans and well it was the best life ever!!!!

    This is what progress denies the younger generations, the convenience of having everything at a snap doesn't allow for how it got there.

    Great thought Keith as always spot on.

  3. Your rambling was interesting to read, Keith. The pictures are a excellent additive to the story. Maybe it is just not that important for most city people to know where the food comes from, just so long as it is there. I am sorry to hear of the loss of farms though. Diversity seems the only way to survive in this world.

  4. A very interesting read indeed. There is a Black Angus farm just a ways down my road.

    ~moo moo~

  5. A great article. the British Potato council found that 60% of children thought that potatoes grow on tree! I am a teacher and a farmer's wife so have a great interest in this subject.
    Sara from farmingfriends



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