More than 1,500 Primary 5 school children from across the Scottish Borders learned about how their food was produced on farms, and why agriculture is a great future career at the Border Union Agricultural Society country education day in Kelso.
The fourth annual schools day to be held at the showground for Primary 5 pupils was sponsored this year by Bayer Crop Science.
Border Union Agricultural Society chairman Douglas Stephen said: ‘It’s really important that companies such as Bayer are here to support the good work that the Border Union Agricultural Society is doing and we are pleased that they have become one of our key sponsors.
“The fourth annual schools day will mark in excess of 5,000 school kids through our gates for this event which is the first of its kind to run in Scotland and is now a core event in the societies’ calendar. It is quite remarkable.’
The day was hailed again as a success.
Kerry Barr, the NFU Scotland Regional Manager for the Lothians and Borders, Tweeted: “Another great Schools’ Countryside Day. Well done all organisers & exhibitors. Great to see kids learning about the countryside!”
Helping promote agriculture as a career of choice, and reconnecting children with how food is produced are key goals within the Bayer Agricultural Educational Programme, said Alice Turnbull, who helped organise Bayer’s participation.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to talk to children about the importance of the countryside around them, and to their teachers about the huge variety of career opportunities that the wider agricultural industry is able to offer.
“Too often we hear people talking about agriculture as a career of last resort. But today’s farmers need to be businessmen, engineers, IT experts, agronomists or animal scientists.
“Tomorrow’s future farmers will need all of those skills plus more – it’s a job for skilled, talented young men and women, with drive, determination and passion.”
Neil Thomson, Bayer’s commercial technical manager in the region, said it was great to see a lot of excited but inquisitive children getting to know more about agriculture and farming.
“The next generation has such an important role in helping to produce the food that will feed an ever growing population.
“We also need people that can help farmers do that, whether it is through advice, machinery or agronomic innovations, or, for example through plant and agricultural research.
“To feed 9 billion people by 2050, we will need bright, innovative people to shape our agriculture in the future.
“Hopefully some of these children will have been inspired to follow this career path.”