Young Islanders learn about origins of food at County Showground

Lacey, Olivia, and Lottie from Godshill Primary meet Neil from West Wight Alpacas and Llamas Harry and Larry

Around 420 children from 16 Island primary schools gathered at the County Showground in Northwood on Tuesday for a day filled with learning and excitement. The youngsters from Years 3 and 4 were invited by the Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society (RIWAS) to take part in their annual Education Day.

The event was designed to teach children more about farming and the origins of their food. Throughout the day, they met a variety of animals, including pigs, goats, horses, and alpacas and also took part in various art, craft, and sports activities. Farmers and livestock owners volunteered their time to share their knowledge and expertise, ensuring the day was both informative and enjoyable.

Christine Griffin from Briddlesford Lodge Farm demonstrated how to make butter from full-fat cream using a simple bottle-shaking method. She commented, “We are committed to teaching the public about food and farming, especially the younger generation.”

One standout attraction was Heidi, a British Saddleback Sow owned by Sharon and David Groves. Heidi is expecting a litter of up to 16 piglets soon, and the children enjoyed coming up with names for them—all starting with the letter ‘H’. However, David Groves expressed reservations about naming a piglet ‘Houdini’ due to its escapologist connotations. The children were also intrigued to learn that pigs cannot sweat and use mud as a natural form of sun protection.

Graham Biss, vice-chairman of RIWAS, emphasized the importance of educating children about the origins of their food. “It is so important that kids learn about where food comes from and, judging by the noise levels, they had a great time,” he said. He also extended his gratitude to the volunteers who made the day possible, saying: “We really couldn’t put this day on without all the volunteers who give up their time to make sure that there are so many activities and things for the children to see and learn. I’d like to thank them all.”

The Education Day was a resounding success, leaving both children and organisers looking forward to future events that blend fun with valuable learning experiences.