Goodwood Education Trust hosts first-ever #FarmMyFood event

Goodwood Education Trust | Press Article 02/07/24

Almost 200 local secondary school students, studying GCSE Business Studies or Food preparation and Nutrition, spent the day at Goodwood’s Home Farm, meeting those who ‘put the food on our table’.

The Goodwood Education Trust delivered the first ever West Sussex #FarmMyFood event following the success of similar events which have been delivered across the country after being developed in 2019 by LEAF Education. The Education Trust, the independent environmental education charity operating on the Goodwood Estate, worked in partnership with leading agri-education organisation LEAF Education (Linking Environment And Farming) to plan and deliver a curriculum-linked event, to bring to life opportunities for students in food and farming.

When LEAF asked teenagers about food and farming, they agreed that young people should be more interested in how their food is produced and where it comes from. The research showed that few young people knew about the wide range of careers in food and farming. As a result, LEAF’s concept of #FarmMyFood has been designed to help strengthening the links between food and farming and the GCSE curriculum.

Students spent the day at Goodwood’s Home Farm, one of the largest self sustaining organic farms in the country, learning about some of the food grown and produced. They took part in a variety of workshops and activities, including a Dairy Tour, a Sustainability Walk, a ‘Meet the Chef’ with Executive Chef Mike Watts, a Food Hub and a Business Hub, as well as a Careers Talk from Brinsbury College. The students also completed a group task looking at new food development and farm diversification.

The Food Hub was hosted by the Farm Shop and gave students a unique opportunity to see into the Butchery, learn about milk processing and cheese making, and sample some of the produce. The Goodwood Health Club was on hand to provide an insight into the Gut Health programme and why this forms a pivotal part of our health.

The Business Hub welcomed suppliers to the Farm, who gave students a valuable overview of the skills and knowledge they bring. The team were very grateful for the support of farm suppliers including Nat West Bank, Downland Traditional Meats, Fossie Organic Group, NFU / NFU Mutual, Livestock Vets, Brinsbury College and Tim Lock and Pauline Matthews (farmers).

Catherine Cannon, Goodwood Education Trust Manager said, ‘We work with primary and secondary students all year round, to bring food and farming to life. There was no charge to the schools to attend, and we were keen to prioritise schools who might otherwise not have this opportunity’.

Jo Hatton, Educational Specialist at LEAF, said, “LEAF Education values working in partnership with likeminded and forward thinking organisations like the Goodwood Educational Trust who put young people at the centre of what they do. #FarmMyFood continues to be a brilliant example to show the wealth of opportunities available in the multi-faceted agri-food industry to secondary students at a time where they are considering their future study and career options”.

One of the schools attending simply said, ‘Brilliant’.

Sally from Downland Traditional Meats said, ‘Events like this broaden the horizons of students as to what’s available, and talks about parts of the industry they don’t always hear about’.  

Contact for more information:

Catherine Cannon, Goodwood Education Trust Manager

Jade Callan Head of Estate Marketing and PR 

Goodwood Home Farm has been providing food for the estate for over three hundred years. Our careful approach to farming is sustainable, sensitive to the environment and above all results in delicious, high quality, award-winning produce. We use no pesticides or fertilisers, ensuring the wildlife, hedgerows and centuries old natural ecosystem is protected and that our produce is as wholesome as the land from which it comes.

 The Goodwood Education Trust is an independent environmental education charity (Charity Commission 1198212, established 1976). Our purpose is to inspire a love and understanding of the natural environment and sustainable agriculture. We have three programmes:

  • Farm Visits for Schools, including free visits for disadvantaged schools
  • Woodland learning, including weekly Forest School for vulnerable students, including those in Alternative Provision or Special Schools.
  • Children in the Community, woodland activities, including partnerships with local charities and Forest Adventures through school holidays, particularly for those on low incomes.

LEAF Education specialise in a bespoke approach to deliver experiential learning opportunities that have a deep and meaningful impact, raise young people’s aspirations, and ensure we are all better informed as a society about how our personal food choices can make a difference to sustainability and climate change.

LEAF Education provides society, especially young people, with the opportunity to visit a farm and see how their food is produced, whilst supporting educators and farmers in delivering high quality, memorable learning experiences that provide a balanced and informed insight into food production, farming, and the environment. Our role is to ensure that we have a future generation who are better informed than ever before, as future conscious consumers, decision makers, leaders, employees, and employers.